The Year I Left Book Review – Women’s Fiction
In The Year I Left, Carin Frost has a great career and a ten-year-old son. Her husband is a stay-at-home dad, leaving Carin to act as family bread-winner. Carin works long hours to stay successful and feels the pressure of knowing her family depends on her income.
Carin seems to be on-the-fence about where her marital relationship is headed…and/or whether or not it fulfills her as a woman. On top of that, Carin’s mother has recently passed away. To add insult to injury, Carin’s beloved dog dies. And if you are an animal lover, you can probably understand how that might, quite literally, be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
At this point in her life, Carin seems to be emotionally adrift. Although there is no actual financial issue, Carin simply stops paying the bills. She just keeps working and pretty much nothing else. It is now clear that Carin is breaking down mentally and feels alone and bereft. She is under extreme emotional pressure and is in trouble. Carin loves her son. But her feelings about her husband are mixed. I would say she loves him, but not in the way she should. And, to me, it does not appear that he even realizes how far gone Carin is at this point. He’s not a bad guy…just probably not the right guy for Carin.
In the midst of all this emotional stress, Matias comes into Carin’s life. Matias is a man who, much like Carin, is feeling family pressure. His prominent, wealthy family expects him to marry the woman to whom he is engaged. However, he is not in love with his fiancé and does not want to marry her. Matias is completely taken with Carin and begins to pursue her. Carin and Matias go on a business trip together on the other side of the world. Tragedy strikes the area, with Carin and Matias caught up in the panic. It is within these tense moments that Matias presents Caring with a life-changing choice. And in that very moment, one that may never present itself again, they make a heart-wrenching decision to grab on to life with all that they have.
It will take all the sensitivity the reader can muster to understand the things that come next in The Year I Left. The deep impact of Carin’s decision is driven across the world, like a giant wave moving from east to west, growing ever stronger, bringing bad news to her family— crashing over them like a devastating tsunami. In order to truly understand The Year I Left, the reader must come with an open and non-judgmental mind.
I hope the author will not mind if I share with my readers what she said to me about The Year I Left: “This story is ours—Every wife and mother who has somehow lost herself along the way.” I agree that Carin is lost. And the question here is, will Carin find a way to find herself? Can she become her true self? Will she stick with the decision she made in a moment of extreme stress? My answer is: Read on gentle readers…read with an open heart…read with the understanding we reserve solely for those we love without limits.
The Year I Left storyline affected me deeply. There is so much more to say about The Year I Left, but that is better left for the reader to discover and explore. The Year I Left is suffused with quandary and emotion—overwhelming indeed. I can’t say for sure what you will think and what emotions you will feel, as you read The Year I Left. What I can promise you is, you will think, and you will feel. And after all, is not a great story one that makes the reader think and feel?
Publisher Quote: “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.”
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