The Year I Left – Review

img_1256Christine Brae’s lyrical writing spoke to my heart three years ago for the first time and continues to evoke soul-stirring emotions with her upcoming release, The Year I Left, today. Christine is leaving us with the legacy of six beautiful books to her name as she moves forward in life – this stunning story will be the final chapter in published books from Brae. Don’t fret, friends, she’s going out with a bang. Even if the last book is your first read by Brae, you won’t want to miss out.

I’m thrilled to say The Year I Left has surpassed In This Life as my favorite Christine Brae novel. While In This Life will always be high on my shelf of favorite books of all-time, somehow The Year I Left spoke to me on a deeper level. There’s something wonderful about a book that makes one able to reflect upon their own life and feel a sense of kinship with the text. While many themes are exhibited in this novel, the pillars in my mind are of timing, the choices we make, and self-love.

“It’s never the wrong time. Things happen and you make it work. You fit it in your timeline. You don’t get to choose where or when.”

I think many times in life, we use timing as an excuse to avoid making difficult decisions. Comfort is the easiest choice, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. Carin’s journey takes readers through the darkest times we face as wives, mothers, and women in general. She searches her soul with honesty and courage. While we might not agree with every choice she makes, I think it’s important to remember this fictional story is taking us to a place many of us may have daydreamed about ourselves. Ultimately, The Year I Left communicates one point incredibly clearly – this one life we have been given is ours for the living. Oftentimes, we get caught in a cycle of living for others and lose ourselves. Sometimes the most selfish act is essential for our personal survival.

“Oftentimes, the choices you make for yourself will hurt someone else.”

Though this romantic story will have you all up in your feelings, Carin’s friendship with Diana was one of the highlights of this novel for me. I absolutely loved watching their relationship grow and experiencing how quickly some friendships are able to form. Diana felt honest and easy to be around, like someone I wish I knew in real life! The parallels between the lives of these two friends made me reflect on just how similar my own story was to theirs. Love often leads us on journies we never expect to take, making us do things we could never fathom we’d have the guts to do.

“We were two kindred souls who in many ways were hungry for the gift of friendship.”

Upon finishing this book, I felt such an immense sense of peace. I was pleased with the ending and the direction the characters were going, the romance was off the charts, and the story gave me the beneficial life lessons I’ve come to expect from Christine’s writing. This is the type of book that left me full to the brim with feelings and inadequate words to express them. Ultimately, I think this book will be a wake-up call for some readers and relatable to women everywhere. Do yourself a favor and read this book.

Rating: 5 stars


Purchase on Amazon.


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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Added to my to be read list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! I’m so excited to hear that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really need to read this! 🤩

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s worth reading!! ❤️ I hope you get a chance to.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol says:

    This sounds good! 👍😍


  4. Just a beautiful review for what looks to be a beautiful book!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jules_Writes says:

    Great review, I’m off to add this to my wishlist!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAY!!! You made my day!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. carhicks says:

    This sounds like a beautiful book. Thanks for sharing this one, I am going to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You made my day!! I hope you get a chance to read it. I loved it so much.

      Liked by 1 person

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