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?
Joe Harper feels set adrift on a sea of regret. He once dreamed of musical greatness but now he’s just trying to hold on. At thirty-two, he is ready to accept a life of simple obscurity. Until an ad for an artist assistant in the local paper changes everything.
October Danko is unlike anyone he has ever encountered. She's an artist in the truest sense of the word. She lives it with every breath she takes – every single day. She's beautiful in that same mysterious way that his favorite song is - she touches his soul.
The growing connection between them hums with an electricity that they simply can't ignore. But their lives are joined in a manner that even they could never guess and one of them will not be strong enough to weather the coming storm.
For so long I’d assumed I was too ordinary, too mortal, too pusillanimous to be who and what I wanted to be. What I learned from watching October was that it was exactly those prosaic human qualities, expressed in authenticity, that people connected to. Art isn’t about people who are better than us showing us how much better they are, it’s about being reminded of the ways in which we are all the same.
In a monotonous world where there is no shortage of the formulaic, Tiffanie DeBartolo is a shot of pure adrenaline. With Sorrow, she once again masterfully captures love in all of its beautiful and devastating forms. Each of her characters are damaged and at times, maddening. But it’s because of these very flaws that they find a home so deep inside the heart.
I found myself hoping that there is someone just like October Danko out there. Someone that believes that art can truly elevate mankind. That it can make somehow them kinder, more understanding.
And that’s exactly the kind of art that I'll never stop searching for…
For Joe and October ~