Meet Mike Murphy, a man who had everything – a wife and children he loved, a great career, a beautiful home – yet still longed for something.
Having everything wasn’t something that came easy to Mike. Mike’s dad suffered from alcoholism. He had heard his “father’s stories about growing up as a child of two alcoholics and becoming a ward of the state.” Addiction runs in families, and Mike had his own dangerous spiral of drinking, drug abuse, and reckless behavior as a teenager. Mike worked hard to clean up his life and become successful.
Then, a couple of women walked into his office at the car dealership and changed his life’s trajectory. Mike tells the story of this new trajectory in his memoir Living In Color: A Love Story, In Sickness and In Health. This story shows readers how to stop dialing it in – living in black and white – and live in color.
One of the two women who walked into Mike’s office was Margot, the focus of Mike’s memoir. You may have guessed that Mike and Margot started a relationship. Both of them were married at the time, and neither of them ever imagined themselves having an affair. Readers come to understand their pain and guilt over the affair and why they continued down the path they did.
Just nine months into their relationship already filled with tribulations, Margot finds out she has cancer. So many people would give up on a relationship at this point, but Mike and Margot push forward and fight cancer together. As readers drink the wisdom that comes from their hardship and love, we understand that this was a rich, beautiful choice that led to more good than anyone involved would have imagined.
Before Margot came into his life, Mike was afraid of the unknown and taught his children this fear. Through the whole spectrum of human emotion – the good, the bad, and the wonderful – readers get to experience Mike’s growth into a person fully alive, loving without limits.
In one poetic story in the book, Mike is throwing a party for Margot. Instead of bringing gifts, he asked their friends and family “to contribute photos, letters, sayings, prayers, poems, or anything else they are inspired to share,” and his daughter, Michelle, put everything together into a beautiful scrapbook for Margot.
The letter from Mike’s son Christopher said to Margot, “You opened my eyes to a new, exciting, adventure-filled world that I was afraid of before I met you. In fact, I think the whole Murphy clan was afraid of the novel and unknown until you came into our lives and forced us out of our comfortable stupor.”
Mike says that “Even Lisa [his first wife] has found new love with someone so much more able than I to make her happy.” For those skeptical that anything good could come from an affair, this book will open your mind to one with less judgment and more love.
Mariel Hemmingway, Oscar-nominated actress and author and granddaughter of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway, says about Living In Color, “Mike freely attests that he is a better man because of Margot and the love they shared. You will be inspired and forever changed when you read their story. I highly recommend it.”
If you’re looking for a book that will open your mind and heart, fill you with wisdom, and give you a newfound love for your own life, read Living In Color.