G*d-Shaped Hole, by Tiffanie Debartolo

When Beatrice Jordan meets the unpredictable Jacob Grace, the two wild souls become instant allies. Together they discover an escape in each other’s creativity and insecurities, while running from secrets they cannot seem to shake – or a fate that could throw them to the ground . . .

This 15th Anniversary reissue of Tiffanie DeBartolo’s classic love story introduces a new audience of dreamers to a quintessentially real and raw vision of spirit, and inspires everyone to live ― and love ― as vividly as possible. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

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Fifteen years ago, I was a twenty-three year old young adult living on my own in an apartment I could barely afford, working a full-time job in property management, a part-time job as a bartender who would also run the Nebraska Big Red Keno machine when customers asked for it. I had a different voice then, a completely different outlook on life than I do now. Reading G*d-Shaped Hole reminded me of that girl I used to be. The one who struggled to make it but reveled in it. The one who, as Jacob would put it, had been “seeking a friend for the end of the world”.

Beatrice didn’t know what to expect when she met Jacob for the first time. The unusual circumstances which brought them together only compounds it, yet she’s drawn to him in a way she can’t explain. He feels the same way, catapulting them into coupledom. Kirkus cites G*d-Shaped as “this generation’s Love Story”, and I can see why. The two main characters, the love they have for one another burns so brightly, it made me yearn for my more youthful days, when expressing my feelings and the severity of those feelings, even when they drove me insane, had been totally acceptable. Sadly, though, like Love Story, there’s also a lot of tragedy involved within this story, only making me cling more to the two doomed lovers.

Tiffanie DeBartolo has done a fantastic job of taking us along on Beatrice’s experiences, of seeing the world through those young woman’s eyes, really digging into who Beatrice is as a character. Sometimes, I feel like the voice of a protagonist doesn’t match up to the persona of who the person is supposed to be. That did not happen here. I felt like there was no mistaking who any of DeBartolo’s characters are. I knew them inside and out, like they were real-life individuals, which made me want to read on and find out what would happen for everyone involved.

G*d-Shaped had originally been released in the spring of 2002, and while I didn’t have the chance to read it then, I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to read it now. I appreciate the reflections it allowed me to have within my own life, and while I’m no longer a young adult with that youthful voice, she’s still inside me, somewhere.

Originally reviewed for Chick Lit Central

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