The Year I Left by Christine Brae

The Year I Left by [Brae, Christine]

3 Stars

Publisher: Vesuvian Books

Date of publication: August 20th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Where you can find The Year I Left: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

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.


First Line

Sometime in the late summer when the air began to tingle and the leaves started to fall, I opened my eyes one morning and my view of the world changed.

The Year I Left by Christine Brae

When I read the blurb for The Year I Left, I was intrigued. A woman suffering from the loss of her mother meets a younger man who sweeps her off her feet. That meeting sets off a series of events that turn her world upside down. That made me go “Hrmmm” and decide to read the book.

I was disappointed by The Year I Left. The book did deliver on what the blurb promised. But, it was the characters that didn’t do it for me.

I did enjoy how The Year I Left was written. It was told in 2nd person and 1st person. I have read a few books where 2nd person was used successfully. The Year I Left was one of those books. Carin’s story was written as journal entries to Matias for the year they spent together. The 1st person part of the book was told from Matias’s point of view after that year had ended. It made The Year I Left a compelling read for me.

Along with how the book was written, I did like the plotline. It was simple and to the point. The author didn’t add drama to spice the plotline up. What Carin and Matias did was enough.

The author was able to keep the plotline’s pace for the entire book. There was no lag or slowing down of plotline. There were a few minor plotlines that were merged into the main plotline throughout the book.

As much as I saw promise and like the plotline, I couldn’t stand the main characters. Unfortunately, that colored my perspective of the book.

Let’s start with Carin. I could not stand her. I understand that her mother’s death and then her dog’s death a few months later scarred her mentally. I could understand her falling into a deep depression. Heck, I could even understand her not paying her bills and ruining her credit. But what I couldn’t understand is how she checked out on her son and husband. The scenes she had with them, she barely interacted with them. When Matias came into the scene, she was all about him. When he showed up on Carin’s mother/son trip to England, she ignored her son and showered Matias with her attention. When she decided to disappear with Matias, she didn’t think about how it would affect her son. As a mother, it made me sick.

I couldn’t stand Matias either. He knew that Carin was married and he still pursued her. If it were only that, I would have been OK with him. But he border lined stalked her. He texted and called her nonstop. Even after she asked him to stop. But it was when they decided to disappear that my annoyance with him morphed into dislike. He could see how much Carin missed her son. Instead of being compassionate and urging her to contact him, he threw a fit like a toddler. I also forgot to mention that he cheated on his fiancee with Carin. All that stuff together made me not like him.

The end of the book was interesting. But, because of what I thought about Matias and Carin, I couldn’t enjoy it. Matias also started acting like he did at the beginning of the book. Again, strong stalker vibes going on. Also, the epilogue didn’t do it for me. I didn’t believe it.


I would give The Year I Left an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I don’t know if I would reread The Year I Left. I do not know if I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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3 thoughts on “The Year I Left by Christine Brae

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