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Review: The Year I Left by Christine Brae

Review: The Year I Left by Christine Brae

About the Book

“A thousand half loves must be forsaken

to take one whole heart home."

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.


There are no words to describe how beautiful this journey was experiencing through Carin. Depression is an extremely difficult experience for many, especially when you have experienced loss. Unique and beautifully written, we experience the depth of despair, sadness, hopelessness revived through unconventional second chance of love to reclaim her life.

I was really saddened to find out that this was the last book by this author. This is my first book read by her and I was so captivated by the story that I was looking forward to what is to come. She has a way with words that gently pull your heart into the characters. I loved every moment and know the emotional gravity of her experience will resonate with many women.

Carin bore the emotional tug of war that many women find themselves into. Not that men can’t experience this but we’re chatting from the female perspective here. At first, I was like, she’s got a husband that seems to love her and a child that adores her, why can’t she lean on them. Sometimes things happen in life that pull us into a hole that suffocate our existence despite the stability and love that surround us. After losing her mother, things just sequentially spiraled to a place where she lost herself and everything around her imprisoned her. Poor decisions and consequences of her unhappiness led her to drown herself with work, which led her to Matias.

First impression, Matias rubbed me the wrong way. The only light in her darkness she had was when she was around him. I think what frustrated me about him was while she was going through her emotional struggle, sometimes outside influences can affect that decision you make at the fork in the road. He gave her an out from having to face everything. At first I wasn’t feeling his charming ways feeling like he was pulling her in the wrong direction but then things played themselves out. Not to give anything away but I struggled with her decision whether or not making that huge decision that changed her life was worth it or not? Despite my reservations, that was the catalyst to her journey reclaiming her life to love and be loved and find her way to a new beginning.

Everything about her journey at the conclusion in retrospect had a purpose despite my reservations as I read. The Year I Left, embraces Carin’s sabbatical of life to fight for her conscious existence. Her fight through her emotions from her marriage, being a mother, the loss of her mother and really dealing with her depression shine through making you want to root for Carin’s happiness. Christine saved her best for last. I’d recommend adding this book to your TBR list.

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