God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo

IMG_4766“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.”

These words mark the beginning of Beatrice’s story, one that is as heartfelt as it is heartbreaking. God-Shaped Hole takes us through the relationship between Beatrice and Jacob, two people whose meeting marks the start of a life-changing relationship. They are both broken and insecure in their own ways, having experienced hurt that has affected them as individuals. Their connection is undeniable and together they bond over their love of music, their dislike of Los Angeles, and the desire to start a new life elsewhere. In each other they find a sense of belonging and home, while battling their own insecurities.

“We’re all searching for something to fill up what I like to call that big, God-shaped hole 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. I could go on and on. I used to know a girl who used shoes. She had over two-hundred pairs. But it’s all the same thing, really. People, for some stupid reason, think they can escape their sorrows.”

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This is a wonderfully written novel that definitely makes an impression. From the intriguing first paragraph, I was completely immersed in the story, which is told from Beatrice’s perspective. The characters are flawed and compelling, but mostly they just feel real. Both struggle with issues from their past as well as the feeling that they don’t exactly belong, which the author relates so incredibly well.

“I always felt like that myself, that I didn’t marry into the landscape of the human world like others did, that I was on the outside looking in. I imagine it’s much easier not to take things so seriously, to just blend, but I’d long ago given up trying to live in vain and I knew I had to suffer for it.”

Throughout the novel we experience the relationship between Beatrice and Jacob, most of which is intense, emotional, and raw. What stands out the most for me, is the author’s writing style that brought to life these characters and made it such a compelling and engrossing story.  

“I like to say I don’t believe in mystics. I don’t believe in fate. I don’t believe in destiny or kismet. I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in anything. But I believe in the possibility of everything.”

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