Trying to fill the God-shaped hole

“When I was twelve, a fortune teller told me that my one true love would die young and leave me all alone-.” This is the opening line of God-Shaped Hole. It foreshadows everything the main character Beatrice is going to experience in her life.

Forget Harlequin novels; Tiffanie Debartolo will keep you on the edge of your seat with a romantic roller coaster of emotions. It has an in-depth plot filled with issues of loss, love and overcoming fear. Debartolo showcases her talent in this work.

The novel is a tale of Beatrice, who meets Jacob Grace through a personal ad in the L.A. Weekly. Upon meeting, the two fall in love with each other within the “first 120 seconds.”

Jacob is a writer trying to finish his book “Hallelujah.” Beatrice is a jewelry designer. He calls her Trixie on their first date, a name she has never been called, and from that moment on, the two are interconnected for life.

Between dealing with abandonment issues with their fathers, both Jacob and Trixie start this bubbling romance that eventually has to burst. The book deals heavily with issues of loneliness and loss.

Both Trixie and Jacob are trying to deal with the absence of father figures in their lives. Trixie describes her feelings in the narrative as, “The sensation that your heart weighs more than your body.”

The novel deals with real life issues in a way that captures the reader. Jacob has philosophies on every aspect of life. As Trixie tells the story of their love, the reader may find themselves adopting those philosophies too. “We’re all searching for something to fill up what I like to call that big, God-shaped hole in our souls.”

Debartolo mixes the right amount of drama, comedy, romance, and reality to create two characters that the reader feels close to. Once started, this book is very difficult to put down. Every turn of the page has a new story to tell or a new problem to figure out.

After Jacob experiences a loss, his outlook on life deteriorates. “A soul never truly loses hope until hope has turned to ashes.” Trixie watches the demise of her boyfriend and of their relationship as a result of the loss that Jacob has experienced. She sees how when one loses hope, everything else leaves with it.

It is clear from the opening line to the ending that Trixie’s life is not fully happy and it may never be. Jacob filled a void in her that no one else ever could.

To say any more would be to give the ending away and a surprise ending is it ever. Debartolo throws the reader for a complete 180 in the last 20 pages of the novel.

The end is foreshadowed from the very beginning, but while reading the book it is easy to believe that Debartolo will give Trixie and Jacob a happy ending, as they deserve one. Keep wishing.

After reading this book, life will never be the same, as it will have a profound effect on the way the reader looks at life. Jacob Grace will have infected the brain and things will be forever different.

Jacob tells Trixie to keep a journal because “reading is the best way to learn how to write.”

Reading this book will teach readers more than how to write. It will give them a new perspective on how to live.

This book is a must read for anyone who has ever loved, lost or been afraid of love; and it is a must-read for any young, aspiring writer.