About the Book:
From Tiffanie DeBartolo, author of God Shaped Hole, How to Kill a Rock Star, and Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story, comes Sorrow, a poignant story about friendship and love, art and music, and how these pursuits can save us from ourselves.
Joe Harper has backpedaled throughout his life. A once-promising guitar prodigy, he’s been living without direction since abandoning his musical dreams. Now into his thirties, having retreated from every opportunity he’s had to level up, he has lost his family, his best friend, and his self-respect.
But Joe finds an unlikely path to redemption when he starts working as a carpenter for the bohemian conceptual artist October Danko. The job returns him to his hometown, loaded with bittersweet reminders of his former life, in the shadows of his beloved redwood trees. As Joe’s relationship with October develops, he yearns to take a daring step toward a bold future but struggles to escape the craven decisions of his past.
Sorrow is a stunning, moving novel that explores masculinity and suspended adolescence, all the while begging the questions: Can courage be learned? And is it ever too late to follow your heart?
“Everyone is always one decision away from a completely different life.”
Tiffanie DeBartolo created magic once again! An angsty, beautiful book, ‘Sorrow’ is about flawed, damaged characters who may not always be likeable but always seem real. The main protagonist Joe has not lived up to his potential in life and seems to be hiding out both from his emotions and from responsibilities. The setting is a main part of this book, and beautiful Northern California serves as a gorgeous backdrop to the story.
October was fascinating. A performance artist, she lives an authentic life and encourages Joe to do the same. She really lives her art and through her, Joe feels emboldened to return to his musical roots. October teaches Joe that it is really never too late to follow one’s passion in life and how vital it is to remain true to yourself.
There is another main character rounding out this book but anything more would spoil this review. ‘Sorrow’ is best read without knowing too much of the plot. If you are a fan of the author’s previous books, then you will love this one. ‘God-Shaped Hole’ is one of my all-time favorites and I am a fan for life of Ms. DeBartolo! She recently said that one of her favorite words is ‘saudade’, which means a feeling of deep longing, melancholy, or nostalgia, and that feeling describes my emotions while reading this book. ‘Sorrow’ is perfect for those who love books mixing art and music and the deep emotions they both inspire. This book is a beautiful reminder to always live your life to the fullest.
Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance review copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.