Sunday, January 10, 2016

REVIEW: GOD SHAPED HOLE BY TIFFANIE DeBARTOLO

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.

Written with the snap, glitter and wit of The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, God-Shaped Hole is a memorable, poignant love story that will leave you weeping with laughter. It is told in the wry, vulnerable voice of Beatrice "Trixie" Jordan who replies to a personal ad, "If your intentions are pure I am seeking a friend for the end of the world."

In doing so, she meets Jacob Grace, a charming, effervescent thirty-something writer, a free spirit who is a passionate seeker of life. He possesses his own turn of phrase and ways of thinking and feeling that dissonantly harmonize with Trixie's off-center vision as they roller coaster through the joys and furies of their wrenching romance. Along the way they try to come to terms with the hurt brought about by their distant fathers who, in different ways, forsook them.

This story will prove so touching you will rush to share it with a friend or loved one or even a stranger.

Paperback, 329 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published January 1st 2002)
Source: Purchased
Purchase a copy: Goodreads | Amazon


Our Review: 

Shelley: I'm looking at the cursor blink and I'm trying to figure out just what the hell to say about this book; it's overwhelming to try to write about a book that you've fallen in love with. It's hard to express in any coherent way how much a book like that means and how the special people in your life should read it.

Court: Amen. I started this book after Shelley read it. And then, my father got sick. And I just lost all...I don't know...creative light in me and just couldn't get there. I mean, hello, the title is God Shaped Hole...and at the time I felt like I had a God Shaped Hole in my heart because that's what terminal illness does to you. I just couldn't do it. I can't say that I wish I had read this any differently because as I have been waking up from the fog that my grief has left me in...I feel that I finished this one at the right time for me. It is a heady novel that really hit right to the heart of me, and Tiffanie DeBartolo's writing is seriously so freaking awesome you guys. I'm sure I should say that more...eloquently...but it is beautiful and really sneaks up on your senses. 

Shel: Here's the thing--I'm not going to talk about technical stuff or try to recap plot or ramble in any sort of meaningful way about all of the components that work--I can't do that yet. I need to reread it but it's not one of those books that I can jump right back in to...I need time to think about it and love it. I promise I'll add an addendum when I tackle it again this summer...and it hopefully it will delve more into those things. Court: I hope that I can one day try to read it again. It was such a special book that I bet it is one of those that I will come out completely reformed and reshaped again, and again. Trixie and Jacob are wild and zany in their own way, and each of their life journey holds grief in such different ways...but their story is one of helping and healing, and random and all of the things that is unique and lovely. 

Shel: Maybe this book just happened to me at the right time-- though I doubt it, I think it's just that good. I needed to read a book that tapped into some of the same things I was feeling; a book that could capture a sense of joy and melancholy and foreboding and love and pure sadness. I needed a book to commiserate with the myriad of tiny, but sharp, emotions that have been zinging around my head for weeks--and this did that. Court: It really did tap into the emotions of dealing with our every day life, and understanding our parents...or in these two's case not understanding them, but as a twenty something couple just trying to figure out where we will go in life together...I can relate. And the other thing...the utter anxiety of hoping your loved ones remain safe every single day is there too. I get it. I feel it. I thank this novel for helping me understand it better. 

Shel: I wanted to live in between the words of this novel; that's how much I felt it. It creeped into my bones and into my soul and not many books do that for me these days. A not-so-well kept secret about me is that I'm cynical and sarcastic and I don't let many things under my skin...I don't let many things wedge themselves into my heart and maybe in a few months I'll think I was overstating this, but for now? this novel is in my heart. Court: I am so glad, Shel! I like finding (or in this case someone else, I think Jaime, recommending) a book that will effect her this way. My greatest joy in life is finding something that will make her heart squeeze, and maybe, just maybe make her eyes leak. It doesn't happen often, so it is a high compliment if it does. 

Shel: I hope you'll read it (I'm betting Court will cry)--but you should only read it if you're one of those special people--the ones who like to feel a little emo with me. Court: Damn it, I hope y'all don't ever bet against her if she says I will cry...because that is the likeliest thing ever to come out of her mouth. I did. And I still think about this book every day. It was beautiful, and worth every minute spent in the world of beautiful characters and even more beautiful writing. 

2 comments:

  1. Don't know what happened to my comment! Reading this from Shel: "I wanted to live in between the words of this novel; that's how much I felt it. " blew me away.
    She'd never BS a line like this. I MUST read this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You must. It was a special read for me...granted I'd just lost my grandmother when I read it but I think I'd love it just as much now as I did then.

    ReplyDelete

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