Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sorrow” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.43  ·  Rating details ·  595 ratings  ·  181 reviews
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 mus
Published October 20th 2020
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  595 ratings  ·  181 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Sorrow
Jessica | JustReadingJess
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Sorrow is a very unique and difficult love story. I have been very excited to read Sorrow, since I heard Tiffanie DeBartolo was writing another book. I have read and loved all of her books and Sorrow did not disappoint. Sorrow was one of those books where I couldn’t wait to find out how it ended but also didn’t want it to end.

Sorrow is filled with emotion, heartbreak, music, and art. Sorrow is one of those unique stories where I didn’t like any of the characters, but loved the story and cannot t
4.5 Just me gushing stars


This was amazing.


Gaaaah! What a wonderful story. A story about friendship-pure beautiful friendship, love, music, art and everything else in between.

Told in the single POV of Joe Harper, we are taken through a beautiful life journey of ups and downs in the best lyrical way of story telling. Joe is one complex, humanly character. I fell in love with him hard and understood some of the decisions he made. It is exactly what most of us would do.


The writing style did take
Oct 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
You can just tell that this author and Tarryn Fisher are BFFs.

I'm very glad that Tiffanie DeBartolo is back, because her writing style is so unique and I find it extremely enjoyable. However, I think that this story had some fundamental issues, just like God-Shaped Hole did.

Sorrow is about Joe, a lonely man who has missed too many opportunities in life and is overall unsatisfied. We follow pretty much his entire life, so this is almost a character study. The two other protagonists are October,
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who can refrain from judging characters.

Finally, a story to shake me up, get me out of sameness, turn me inside out and poke my heart with a pin.

Sorrow had in spades that "unsettling" feeling I look forward when starting a book, something different from my ordinary life, something that will stretch my boundaries and make me uncomfortable and rock my world.

I bloody missed being consumed by a story this much!
So, yeah!!! 5 stars!!!!

I loved the originality and the artistic aspect of it.

I loved how vulnerable, sensitive and enigmatic bot
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Update ...

When you love a book and you buy the Paperback (would have loved if it had been released in Hardcover) but then, your son, who hears you listening to the song on repeat on your phone, buys you the vinyl - he loves his Mammy!!!

"Sorrow" The National (Album - High Violet)


"Choices" - do you ever wonder how your life would have turned out if you had taken a different turn in life and made a different life choice? I know if I had made a certain
Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
“Everyone is always one decision away from a completely different life.”

Sorrow is the third book I’ve read by Tiffanie DeBartolo and each time I read a book by her I’m blown away by her raw talent. Her writing is out of this world and she tells a story like no other.

This is a book that makes you think about the choices you make and how they change and shape your life. Sometimes not making a choice is a choice within itself. I think we’ve all thought about that at one time o
Jennifer Kyle
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

A very poignant read!! However, the hero was hard to love.
Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
4 ⭐'s

Nothing has quite shook me as much as God-Shaped Hole and I knew that I would have to read (almost) any of Tiffanie DeBartolo's books after that. She hasn't released a book for a while so I was hoping for a doozy. was good but not great. Right from the beginning, there's a very similar set up to a video by a real performance artist:


and if you want more background on it, watch this one:

and while this
I don't even know what to say. I've sat on this and thought about it for two days, and I'm no closer to knowing now than I was two days ago.

I thought this was going to rip my emotions to shreds, like Ms DeBartolo's previous book I read, How to Kill a Rock Star. And there were moments that did. But there was so, so much to love.

So I could go one of two ways. I could rant about the things that made me angry, cry about the things that hurt, sigh over the things that didn't go the way I wanted them
Carlene Inspired
Find this review and others at Carlene Inspired.

I have tried to write this review several times, but I don't know how to put in words what this book meant to me. As a reader, it's a relatable story of love, loss, and life's lessons. As a human, it's a book about humanity, the art of living, and going after what you want in spite of it all. It's not even fair to call this just a romance, when Sorrow is so much more and it is apparent that Tiffanie DeBartolo put so much into it. Poignant, difficul
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Wow. Just wow. I started this book last night at bedtime and finished it this morning. I haven’t been this moved by a story in quite a while. This book was speaking to me with its story of the multi-talented, thirty-seven-year-old Joe Harper, and his misdirected life. This is a story of the loss, grief, fear, and self-doubt that thwarted one man’s destiny, crippling him to such a degree that he was unable to make the right choices for a rewarding life.

“Everyone is always one decision away from
Rosalinda *KRASNORADA*
Mar 05, 2018 marked it as to-read
I can't freaking wait!!! ...more
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Everyone is always one decision away from a completely different life.

Honestly, I could have pre-posted this review. I had no doubt this would be a 5-star read. In my opinion, DeBartolo has proven herself an amazing writer. I have loved every book I've read of hers.
She has a unique ability to transform emotion into words, and art into emotion. There were so many fantastic quotes, it seems I've highlighted something on every single page. If I had to criticize anything from this book,
Sorrow is my second book by this author. I would categorize this book as literary fiction.

The narrator is 37 year old Joseph/Joe Harper (1st person POV). Joe loves trees (hence the cover). And he loves playing the guitar (and he is really good).

This book is very character driven, which made for an interesting change. It is about friendship and love. Part of the story is about a female artist named October. And part is about Joe's childhood best friend Cal.

The book starts out in Whitefish, Montan
Erica Russikoff
Have you ever read a book that affected you so much, you feel it's changed you forever? Have you ever read words that you know touched your soul? Have you ever finished reading a story and knew it would be a reread ten times over? For me, this is Tiffanie DeBartolo's Sorrow. This book is magic. Its themes include music, nature, art, friendship, and love. So, really, unless you are a dispassionate beast of a person, you'll find something to relate to in this novel. It's not a romance, although th ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I jumped at the opportunity to read Tiffanie DeBartolo's new book because in the past I enjoyed her previous works very much. Maybe that's why I expected more from this read, it was a nice book, but nothing more for me.

I didn't particularly feel the chemistry between the main couple and was much more interested in Joe's past with Cal, something I wish we could have seen more of. Also, the book mov
Apr 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

When I finished this book this morning I was left with mixed feelings.

I can’t say that I ABSOLUTELY loved everything about it because I didn’t.

I loved the earthy and artsy feel of it.

I loved the musical thread too.

I loved the together moments with October & Joe.

What I didn’t love was how I felt while reading most of it. I felt perpetually sad for and frustrated with Joe. I understood his struggle. I just didn't understand his choices.

October was great.

But the one I enjoyed the most was Cal.
Ellen ✦ Book Bellas ✦

“Everyone is always one decision away from a completely different life.”

Tiffanie DeBartolo has 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 a
⚜️ Antonella ⚜️
Jul 10, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2020
OMG it has a release date!!! 🤩 10.20.20!!!
I've been waiting literally eons for this one, I'm legit in tears 😭😭😭

2020 is saved!
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021, romance
This is a contemporary romance, which I don't usually gravitate towards but this sounded like it had some mental health conversations going on with it, and it did. We're following Joe Harper who because of a lot of anxiety and self-doubt and emotional abuse in childhood, has led a life that he is not satisfied with. Once a guitar prodigy, he abandoned his musical dreams. And now he's in his 30s and realizing that he has shied away from every opportunity he had to satisfy his dreams. He is now ve ...more
Lezel Malazarte
Mar 11, 2018 marked it as to-read
I love you, Tiffanie DeBartolo. I will read anything you write.
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Just wow. I started this book last night at bedtime and finished it this morning. I haven’t been this moved by a story in quite a while. This book was speaking to me with its story of the multi-talented, thirty-seven-year-old Joe Harper, and his misdirected life. This is a story of the loss, grief, fear, and self-doubt that thwarted one man’s destiny, crippling him to be unable to make the right choices for a rewarding life.

“Everyone is always one decision away from a completely different l
T. Rosado

4+ Stars

I’ve been sitting on this review for nearly 3 weeks. I really enjoyed the story, but have found it difficult to articulate my thoughts without sounding overly effusive or trite. So, take or leave my review comments, but know that in the end, I loved how this story made me feel and sometimes, that's all I need from a good read.

The title of this story aptly describes the melancholy of the main character throughout a large portion of the story. What had the potential to be a depressing read
4 1/2 Stars....

Wow!! Tiffanie DeBartolo has such a unique and beautiful writing style. When I saw this book was being released, I was eager to read it. I was. not disappointed. It's not a noticeably flashy or dramatic book, but yet it felt like just the right mix of "everything."

Our main character, Joe Harper has struggled with various issues throughout his entire life. He often solves his problems by walking away and trying to leave them behind. He has experienced some major losses during h
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The moment I finished this book tears filled my eyes. This book is art in itself. Creating art. Becoming art. Breathing art.

When I opened this book and began, I knew little of Joe and October and of the trees, what I didn’t expect, but truly knew was going to happen for my soul to become part of this book. Tiffanie has this was to pull you in; with how the character speaks to you in this book, how Joe tells you his story, his faults and weaknesses it’s speaks directly to you and you feel it all.
Chelé-----4 The Love of Books
Tiffanie has such a distinctive way of writing. It's so unique and whimsical, strong and defining. I found myself pulled into a story that was completely enthralling.

Joe is wandering. Wandering through life, his decisions, or lack thereof and his choices. I feel like this is a testament to Tiffanie's writing because I usually need some sort of connection with the main character in order to hold my interest and unfortunately Joe and I did not vibe, however the story itself is so strong that it k
Dee Montoya
3.5 Stars***

I’m a HUGE Tiffanie DeBartolo fan, so you know I’ve been waiting to read Sorrow like a kid waits for Christmas morning. I wanted to take my time, read it slowly, savor every word. In the past her novels have altered something inside me, the made a positive impact in my life, they are like tattoos inside my heart. Unfortunately for me with Sorrow that wasn’t the case.

Not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, I did. The setting of the book is very rich, I enjoyed the art aspect in the story,
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I started out hoping this was going to be short because instead of reading on my Kindle I had to read on a big and clunky tablet. Well it was short and it was amazing, the kind of book that will be read over and over again to reveal more layers of the story.

Joe is deeply affected by the death of his brother Sam, so much so that he doesn't speak for years. He takes up the guitar and becomes quite good and one day while playing in the woods he meets Cal. They become Blood Brothers and vow to move
Cielle Taaffe
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The way Tiffanie DeBartolo's movie 'Dream for an Insomniac' spoke to me in high school, and 'How to Kill a Rockstar' and 'God Shaped Hole' reached me in my 20s, 'Sorrow' was the perfect book to connect to in my 30s.
The novel is poetic, with intriguing characters, and a believable, exciting romance.
Watching Joe's relationships with the other characters unfold is captivating and entrancing. And the subplots, or subcharacters of Art, Music, and the Redwood Forests make a beautiful backdrop as ever
This might be my favorite book of the year. Definite top 3. Review coming soon...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Young Adult Conte...: Sorrow by Tiffanie DeBartolo -Starting October 20, 2020 35 13 Oct 28, 2020 08:45AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Across the Winding River
  • Bitter Falls (Stillhouse Lake #4)
  • Her Final Words
  • White Out (Badlands Thriller, #1)
  • IOU
  • Wild at Heart (Wild, #2)
  • Riot House (Crooked Sinners, #1)
  • The Reluctant GLAMOUR GIRL - A Novella
  • Twisted Betrayal (Rydeville Elite #2)
  • Sweet Retribution (Rydeville Elite #3)
  • Cruel Intentions (Rydeville Elite #1)
  • The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)
  • Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2)
  • Head Over Heels
  • The Safe Place
  • Wolfhunter River (Stillhouse Lake, #3)
  • The First Girl Child
  • Where the Blame Lies (Where, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Tiffanie DeBartolo's most recent novel is Sorrow. Her previous novels include God Shaped Hole (2002), How To Kill a Rock Star (2005), and the graphic novel Grace: Based on the Jeff Buckley Story (2019). She also wrote and directed the film Dream for an Insomniac (1996) starring Jennifer Aniston and Ione Skye.
Tiffanie is the founder and CEO of San Francisco Bay Area record label Bright Antenna, wh

Related Articles

Punk rock legend, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, award-winning writer, photographer, activist, and all-around Renaissance woman Patti Smith is...
194 likes · 24 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“It is impossible to become less of yourself by doing something you really wanna do. You can only become less by not doing it.” 7 likes
“There's nothing like heartbreak to crack a person wide open. But the cracks can sometimes act as reservoirs too.” 4 likes
More quotes…