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The Year I Left by Christine Brae

The Year I Left

by Christine Brae

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Many thanks to NetGalley, Vesuvian Books and Christine Brae for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review of The Year I Left. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy.

Carin is a successful business woman who is married to a good guy with a great kid. But, lately, a feeling of ennui has set over her whole life. She doesn’t know what has come over her until Matias walks into her life. As they begin to work together, Carin can’t concentrate on her job. They work so well together but gosh why did he have to be so nice and oh so handsome. As their professional relationship progresses, so does their attraction to one another. Carin refuses to act on, until, one day, they find themselves stranded on an island. The world believes they are dead. Should she take this time for herself, to explore how she feels? Can she stay and make a life with Matias? Or are they living on borrowed time?

Uch!! No, no, no. What is going on? I get that every married woman/mother dreams of taking off from her life and living on an island with some hot guy who worships her at some point in a long marriage. Especially one that is loaded and can fix shit. I mean, this guy is perfect. He wants nothing to do but talk about his feelings and make love to Carin every day forever. Yes, sign me up. When does my plane crash? And can you please make it in Hawaii.

I can’t suspend my belief for books like this. No matter how I try, I just can’t. She’s going to abandon her son to find herself? I just don’t believe that is what mother’s do. And I’ll say it again, if you aren’t happy in your marriage, LEAVE! She has all the options to do so. She is financially independent, so she can provide for herself and her son. Her husband is wonderful, just boring to her. He looks after their son all the time and is great with him. The husband is so concerned that his wife isn’t happy. JEEZ!! How many good guys does this girl get?

I can’t relate to women, who have everything, then whine and complain like spoiled brats. I think it is extremely selfish to dump your life, pretend to your husband and CHILD that you are dead, so you can frolic on the beach with some hot dude! I mean that is harsh. Why can’t she deal with her problems like an adult. Do the hard work of being alone, figure out what you want, then go after said hot guy.

I was looking forward to reading a book about “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.” I wanted to hear about the inside of a marriage. What to do when you want more out of life. When personally you feel lost. Like, somehow the life you built wasn’t really the life you wanted. Carin and Matias also lied to everyone on the island. They were playing house. They weren’t really married and didn’t deal with things that regular married people did. It was all fantasy.

I think I would have accepted the situation if she had left honestly. Told her husband “ I need a year to get away and find myself and I might sleep with someone, so you can too” Then the family knows what’s going on. Your kid won’t need loads of therapy. I just can’t accept the premise. I guess I have such a visceral reaction to this because it is society selling another fantasy to women. First it is the fairy tales, then it is the romance novels and rom-com movies, and now this fantasy.

I like the writing style. The whole book reads like a journal, or letter, looking back on the whole experience. So you have Carin, walking back through her memories and analyzing them as she describes what is happening. I just can’t relate to these characters. It’s a pass for me. ( )
  PinkPurlandProse | Aug 31, 2019 |
The Year I Left is a poignant and heartfelt novel by Christine Brae.

This is the first book of the author that I’ve read where it snatched me up and threw me in a rabbit hole to feel different kinds of emotions. I am saying that Christine Brae writes a touching story where you can relate as a woman. The narration is not slow and fast for me. It is flowing normally while letting you go with it thinking all the decisions and reasons of the character. The author has a way with words that makes you feel the story in every possible way, and I loved it.

I also loved the message on this book that was delivered through the experiences of Carin. She is courageous to take something for herself. She might look selfish, but we should not judge those people who do have the same situation as her. No one deserves to stay in a place where you are not happy just to let the people around you don’t judge you. In this world, everyone wants to feel complete and to find the missing pieces on our life, but in order to do so, some of us will undergo a different and sometimes, difficult situation just like with Carin. That is the problem of the story’s main character. Carin Frost is someone who has everything in her life – money, family, and career. But she feels incomplete even though she already has the things many women dreams to have. She has this urge to run away and leave everything she has just to look for something that will make her feel and give sense to her life. But when she met someone who takes her to a journey where she finds what she has been looking for, she contemplates because she knows the consequences of it. But, she also knows that it might be the answer to her questions about why she felt like that even though she has been living a perfect life.

The story is an excellent representation of how a woman felt loss but finds a way to save and bring herself back again. Her journey will surely make some readers relate to her. (SPOILER) This book moved me and inspired me. It broke me, yet it also fixed me. It touches me and makes me weep, so I’m telling you that no matter how you prepare yourself, you will still get yourself consumed by the story.

Though, I’d like to let you know that others might not like the story because of the characters and how they decide to do things. They are selfish, especially Carin, as she is still a wife and a mother. So, if you are avoiding this kind of character, I don’t suggest that you read this book. But, if you are willing to give this a chance and see it to the end, despite how irritated you might be with Carin and Matias, then you’ll see the reasons for their behaviors.

Overall, I liked this book! I don’t know how to describe and tell more about this novel because I felt like spoiling you. But, this story will surely make you cry and feel hundreds of emotion, and I recommend this book. I also recommend this book to anyone who wants to read an adult contemporary romance and women’s fiction.

Disclaimer: I received a reader’s copy via Xpresso Book Tours. ( )
  AlysinBookland | Aug 19, 2019 |
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