on January 22, 2016
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It started out so simply. Anna runs away to Thailand, drags her best friend Dante with her and spends a few weeks away, taking on other people’s problems while getting away from her own. She meets the enigmatic Jude Grayson, and for as long as it’s clear to both of them that it ends when they leave, she thinks she’s got the perfect fling planned out.
Or does she?
Anna returns home to find that her life is no longer the way it once was, and that she can’t stop thinking about him. She learns through tragedy that nothing she’s ever believed in has turned out to be true. The worst part? The people she loved were keeping a secret from her. And that no matter what she does, no matter how hard she fights against it, every path she takes keeps leading her back to Jude.
This is a story about love, found in a faraway place by two very unlikely people. It is also a story about friendship and loyalty and fighting for what you have despite the illogical mystery of fate. And with the struggle between morality and guilt, faith and acceptance, there comes a learning that even the best-laid plans are powerless against the alignment of the universe.
From the beaches of Thailand to the streets of New York, three friends, Anna, Dante, and Jude will learn the hard way that once providence steps in, there is nothing in the world that can change what is truly meant to be.
Do you know that feeling when you read something and you are just like “Yes, this is the kind of book I live for”? I felt like this pretty much the whole time I was reading In This Life. I can’t describe and I wish I have the words for it. It’s just this feeling I get whenever I read a book that has something special. Something that affects every inch of my being until the very last page and leaves me incapacitated, alone in a puddle of book feels with one massive book hangover.
In This Life is an extraordinary story of how fate and freewill play put in the lives of Anna, Jude and Dante. With incredibly flawless writing, Christine Brae manages to explore on the different visions, hopes and realities of love of these three main characters. The story she weaves is wonderful, heartbreaking and surprisingly complex. Reading the summary makes one feel like they can already predict how this story will play out. And while there are certainly things I was able to guess at, Christine writes them out beautiful, adding quirks and details that make everything her own. Her story touches my heart, and once it took possession of it, it just refuses to let go in spite of all the ups and downs that these characters are forced to face.
How one girl can suffer so much and blossom into the wonderful woman is amazing. This book gives hope to anyone who has ever suffered. It is about forgiveness of not only others but of self. Anna may not end up where she thought she’d be, but she actually ended up where she’s meant to be. Even though there are bumps in the roads, it’s those bumps that make her realize just how important and fragile love truly is.
I got a little worried towards the end, but was thankful for the intense ending. It really pulled the story together. I love every moment of this book and know if people get the chance to find out about this book it will heal others and offer hope.
I know without a doubt that this book will be one of the strongest contemporary releases of this year. Even though it took a little while to get into the groove of this story, I wound up finding the entire thing to be an enjoyable, emotional roller coaster of an experience. I’d certainly say it was worth the read if you’re looking for a new contemporary novel to love, or if you’re in the market for a story that feels both familiar and different all at once.
The door? Was that what I had just heard? Instinctively, I reached my arm out to feel for her, but I found myself alone in the middle of the bed. I jerked up in surprise and looked around the room. There were two dirty wine glasses and an empty bottle of wine on the floor. The covers were hanging off the side of the bed, and the pillows were neatly piled on top of one another occupying the space where she had slept.
“Anna!” I yelled. No. She couldn’t have left me. Why did she leave?
Frantically, I sprang out of bed and pulled my jeans on. I didn’t care that all I had on was a t-shirt as I ran out the door and flew down the five flights of stairs to the main entrance. My feet felt numb against the freshly fallen snow, but I felt no pain. I had to find her. I ran down the sidewalk until I spotted her walking on the opposite side of the road, head down, shoulders hunched, one hand holding her hat onto her head.
“Anna! Anna, wait!” I shouted at the top of my lungs.
She stopped when she saw that it was me. I ran across the road as fast as my frozen feet would take me. The neighborhood was slowly waking up, people were just about to start their day.
And as we faced each other, I knew that I would live out my days with her. I wanted to touch her but didn’t want to scare her off any further. The snow began to fall lightly. Dance with me, I wanted to say. Who cares if the rain has frozen into snow? The music in our hearts will warm it right up.
“Where are your shoes?” she asked, one hand still on her head, the other in her coat pocket. The morning wind was biting; it stuck to the skin, sharp little pins all over your body.
“It doesn’t matter. Why did you leave? Why are you leaving me?” I tried to form the words in my mouth while trying to stop my teeth from chattering.
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