Book Review

Tiffanie DeBartolo’s GOD-SHAPED HOLE

DeBartolo, Tiffanie - God-Shaped Hole - COVER.jpg
God-Shaped Hole
Author: Tiffanie DeBartolo
Format: eBook, courtesy of NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark
Start Date: June 4, 2017
End Date: June 8, 2017
Rating: 4 stars


When I was twelve, a fortune-teller told me that my one true love would die young and leave me all alone.
Everyone said she was a fraud, that she was just making it up.
I’d really like to know why the hell a person would make up a thing like that.

When Beatrice (Trixie) Jordan answers a personal ad in the paper – “If your intentions are pure I’m seeking a friend for the end of the world.” – she doesn’t know that her whole world is about to change. In Jacob Grace, she finds what she didn’t know what she was looking for: a friend, an ally, a lover. These two creative souls – Trixie makes jewelry, Jacob is a writer – join together so they don’t have to face their demons alone.

I really liked this book, a lot more than I would have thought. It’s not something I normally read – I usually (not always) don’t read books categorized as “romance” or “chick lit” – and honestly, I chose it because I’m a sucker for a beautiful (especially colorful) cover. But this book was different. On the surface, it was a love story between Trixie and Jacob: how they met, fell in love, and helped each other through tough times.

But underneath, it was so much more.

God-Shaped Hole is about the journey we each take to fill that “God-shaped hole” (which doesn’t necessarily need to be filled by God) to make our lives feel complete.

We’re all searching for something to fill up what I like to call that big, God-shaped hold in our souls. Some people use alcohol, or sex, or their children, or food, or money, or music, or heroin. A lot of people even use the concept of God itself.

This book was both laugh-out-loud funny and serious, often in the same breath. The characters were well-developed and complex. I loved both Trixie and Jacob – their insecurities, their idiosyncrasies, their personalities. I enjoyed watching the progression of their relationship, from the honeymoon phase to the deep, long-lasting love phase. I actually also liked Trixie’s mother, who had always seemed uptight to Trixie, but really had so much more depth than her daughter ever realized.

The writing itself was beautiful – both subtle and powerful. There were so many great quotes, both beautiful imagery and questions to provoke deep thought.

Dawn makes a sound. If you listen closely, right as the sun starts to come up, you’ll hear it. It’s like the echo of birth: silence, followed by a gentle push, followed by moans, then the sloppy deluge of new life. On good days I like it because it reminds me that I’m alive. On bad days it makes me feel like dust.

This book would be a great pick for a book club because there are so many layers there to dissect. It’s beautiful, poignant, joyous, uproarious, deep, all mixed into one. It really was a great book.

Thank you to NetGalley and to SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for a copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review!

P.S. In case you didn’t know, this book is actually a re-release to celebrate its 15th Anniversary (it was originally published in May 2002). It was interesting to notice some of the anachronisms – and to see how much technology has advanced – even in only 15 years! The starkest difference was the lack of cell phones and subsequent increase in human interaction. When Trixie and Jacob were together, they were together. They didn’t merely sit next to each other at dinner, scrolling away on their devices, essentially ignoring the other person; instead, they embraced the human connection. And that was beautiful.


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