The Color of Heaven


A celebration of the triumph of true love

As Ehwa grew from a girl to a young woman in The Color of Earth and The Color of Water, she began to understand and experience love and relationships, with her mother as a model and confidante. Now, in the heartwarming conclusion to this lyrically written and delicately drawn trilogy, Ehwa's true love comes at last, and as her mother looks on, she takes the final steps towards becoming an adult.

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A celebration of the triumph of true love

As Ehwa grew from a girl to a young woman in The Color of Earth and The Color of Water, she began to understand and experience love and relationships, with her mother as a model and confidante. Now, in the heartwarming conclusion to this lyrically written and delicately drawn trilogy, Ehwa's true love comes at last, and as her mother looks on, she takes the final steps towards becoming an adult.

In the tradition of My Antonia and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, from the pen of the renowned Korean manhwa creator Kim Dong Hwa, comes a girl's coming of age story, set in the vibrant pastoral landscape of Korea.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Seventeen-year-old Ehwa bids good-bye to the man she wants to marry as the final volume of this delicate and poetic Korean historical trilogy opens. Her mother is simultaneously full of angry concern and understanding sympathy—each woman must wait, tending flowers and hoping to see their loves again. It's fascinating to see such a female-centered generational story, but it's a shame that, due to the time period, the women can take no action. They are passive, waiting, because “that is the heart of a woman”; their lives are incomplete without a man. Natural metaphors and seasonal images give the story texture: trees are undressed; male organs are chili peppers; and young men are butterflies flitting among flowers. Village girls see naked neighbors; men who aspire too much in their love are beaten to death; and marriage proposals come to the prettiest. The art is as minimally poetic as the content. Panels are spare, with plenty of white space, and the eyes are most often stacks of horizontal lines, making the characters seem thoughtful or as though they're looking sidelong at life. (Sept.)
VOYA - Amy Luedtke
After months of painfully waiting for his return, seventeen-year-old Ehwa marries her fiance, Duksam, in this romantic yet bittersweet conclusion to The Color Trilogy. Ehwa is thrilled to be marrying Duksam, who has been away at sea earning money so they can marry. But Ehwa is also heartbroken about leaving her childhood home and her widowed mother behind. Likewise, Ehwa's mother is happy for her but worried about sending her into marriage so young and inexperienced. Her mother is also afraid that she will be lonely when Ehwa is gone, although her lover, a traveling artist, does come to visit her with the promise of a more stable relationship. The plot of the story is simple, as the book focuses on the inner lives of Ehwa and her mother. The culmination of the trilogy is the marriage ceremony and Ehwa's wedding night, depicted with evocative illustrations that rely heavily on nature symbols such as butterflies, flowers, and water. The book ends hopefully with the promise that Ehwa and Duksam will have a happy life. Ehwa's mother has learned, however, that love does not guarantee happiness, as death, distance, and age can leave women alone and longing. Reviewer: Amy Luedtke
Library Journal
Aging gunfighters, fancy flyers, noble officers, and rowdy rebels can all be found in Galaxy Press's latest four entries in its "Stories of the Golden Age" series, also available in trade paperback. Despite the titles' distinct differences, all are rife with action and adventure and laced with melodramatic overtones. All except Hostage to Death include additional stories besides the title feature. While each delivers its own slice of genre fiction dredged up from the pulp magazine in which it was published, together they represent an impressive and stylistically similar whole. From the musical introduction to the final credits, these full-cast, sound effects-laden productions will engage listeners of all ages, particularly fans of old-time radio, Westerns, genre fiction, action and adventure, and full-cast performances. [More info at—Ed.]—Lance Eaton, Peabody, MA
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up–This manhwa concludes this quietly moving trilogy about Ehwa and her mother. Ehwa is in love with Duksam, who left at the end of The Color of Water (Roaring Brook, 2009) to make his fortune so that he could come back and marry her. Actually, he also left to escape the men who wanted to punish him for destroying the property of the old man who tried to take Ehwa for himself in volume two. Most of this book takes place in the village with the two women pining for their men and talking about men and nature and flowers and trees. Hwa’s black-and-white illustrations are once again stunning, simple at first glance but on closer examination they are amazing in their detail. The Color of Heaven can stand on its own as an enjoyable read, but it is an absolute must for readers who have devoured the earlier volumes.–Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
The final-and best-installment of manhwa artist Kim's moving trilogy chronicling the coming of age of a girl in pastoral Korea, based loosely on his mother's own youth. As summer comes to a close, the strikingly cinematic opening finds Ehwa bidding a hurried farewell to the handsome wrestler who caught her eye in the previous installment (The Color of Water, 2009). Her lover heads off to work as a fisherman, and Ehwa returns to her mother's tavern and begins an autumn of discontent. She's testy to friends and fresh with her mother, but most of all, she's frustrated by the distance between herself and Duksam. Winter arrives, bringing with it not only Duksam's unexpected return and plans for a spring wedding but also the artist's stark, crisp winter landscapes. As Ehwa and her mother prepare for the traditional ceremony, the nuanced nature metaphors and fertile scenery evoke the melancholy of change. This title, more than its predecessors, blends achingly beautiful artwork with a well-paced story-as fully realized, finally, as the heroine the artist has created. (discussion guide) (Graphic novel. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596434608
  • Publisher: First Second
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Series: Color of Earth Series , #3
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 891,227
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kim Dong Hwa is a widely revered Korean comic artist. Since his debut in 1975 he has become a mainstay of Korean manhwa (comics), best known for his tender stories and uncanny ability to write from a profoundly feminine perspective.

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