Published by Vesuvian Books on August 20th 2019
Genres: Women's Fiction
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Carin Frost doesn’t understand what’s happening to her. A confident businesswoman, wife, and mother, she begins to resent everything about her life. Nothing makes sense. Nothing makes her feel. Maybe it’s the recent loss of her mother in a tragic accident. Or maybe she’s just losing her mind.
Enter Matias Torres. As their new business partnership thrives, so does their friendship—and his interest in her. Carin is determined to keep her distance, until a work assignment sends them to Southeast Asia where a storm is brewing on the island. In the midst of the chaos, Matias asks her to do something unimaginable, exhilarating, BOLD. Carin knows the consequences could be dire, but it may be the only way to save herself.
An honest look at love and marriage and the frailties of the human heart, this is a story of a woman’s loss of self and purpose and the journey she takes to find her way back.
The Year I Left left me feeling perplexed. There are things about Carin I just couldn’t understand and things I wholly understood. It’s a bit confusing to feel like you didn’t really like a character but I was interested to see what happened to her; what choices she’d make, live with, regret, and to see how things might or might not work out for her.
Carin Frost is a woman perplexed by her life. She loves her son madly but has been genuinely unhappy in her marriage, in her life itself for a long while. I think this line spoke to it best, to her lack of joy in life itself:
“What was happening in my personal life? I’d hardly spoken about my family. Who in their right mind would be vaguely interested in a neat little life, filled with clichéd accomplishments like work, career, marriage? Such normalcy embarrassed me.”
While this is the script that seems to run in her head, in her heart on loop, she’s drifting away from her family and into the arms of another man – a man she convinces herself is the love of her life. And he may be, it’s just how she got there that stumped me and the co-dependency on him, Matias Torres, to heal her. I just never felt their spark. I read about it, just never felt it. And I think Carins’ vulnerability is what drove her attraction to him. When she finally decides that she deserves happiness, a situation presents itself that gives Carin a way out, unlikely though it may be. The Year I Left takes the reader on an adventure as Carin and Matias find the opportunity to grow their love. With this one choice, there are many consequences, especially to Carin.
One thing I didn’t really love was how the story is told in a diary-like fashion, directed at Matias. In a way, it lends itself toward a mystery as to when he would he be reading this, but there is something in the tone of that style that always puts me off. But it does lend itself to trying to show the reader the emotions of the character telling her story. So in that Brae excels as I felt every single spell of depression that Carin experiences. At times it felt histrionic, overly emotional, but I suppose her despair was deep. Ultimately I think that Christine Brae wrote a highly emotional if slightly improbable, story of a woman, mother, wife, and professional finding her true path in life.
~Review by Cyndi
Christine Brae is a senior executive with a full time career, who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Christine has written six books since her first release in 2013. She is the author of The Light in the Wound and His Wounded Light (2013), Insipid (2014), In This Life (2016) and Eight Goodbyes (2018).
Her latest book, The Year I Left is scheduled for release in August, 2019.
When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.
Christine is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management.
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