In This Life

Fiction - Womens
335 Pages
Reviewed on 04/27/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite

Best friends forever, Anna Dillon and Dante Leola ventured on a medical mission to Ban Nam Khem, a small fishing village on the coast of Thailand. Dante’s nickname for Anna has always been Sparky, illuminating the role she played in his life. But, this brief period of time in Thailand changed their lives forever. Anna met Jude Grayson and had a brief, passionate affair. She needed to return home immediately for a family death, and she never heard from Jude again. She resumed her medical studies and finally was able to move on with her life. Then…everything changed again. The story of Anna, Dante, and Jude is detailed in the novel, In This Life, written by Christine Brae. How the three of them navigate the changes in their lives, colored by secrets and lies, comprises the compelling plot.

This book is a page-turner, engaging the reader from the first page to the last. It is written in four parts; three parts are narrated by Anna, while one part is from Jude’s perspective. The parts span six years of time, covering the evolution of these three relationships and career choices, as well as family and friend relationships. There is another aspect to this story which adds an enriching depth, and that is the addition of faith – faith in God, the Catholic religion, one’s life purpose and eternal life. Author Christine Brae has crafted a wonderful novel titled In This Life; it is a true love story, rich in emotional prose. A thought-provoking read!

K.C. Finn

In This Life is a work of women’s fiction and interpersonal drama, and was penned by author Christine Brae. Our central figure is Anna Dillon, whose emotive tale of love and passion is told over several years. It begins on a medical mission to Thailand where she and best friend Dante volunteer for a while. There, Anna meets Jude and they have an affair, but Jude never keeps in touch and a heartbroken Anna eventually grows to love Dante instead. So, five years later, when Jude returns to the scene, the truth about what happened all that time ago is finally revealed, and it causes Anna to question everything she thought she knew about her life and her decisions so far.

Emotive, passionate and fully realized in terms of its highly realistic characters, this is a drama that any fiction fan will be sure to enjoy. Author Christine Brae captivates her readers with a sweeping narrative that wraps us up close in its many intrigues, secrets, and lies, delivering sweet passion one moment and bitter deception the next. Anna, Dante, and Jude are all given full development as the novel’s central triangle, with their lives and emotional mechanisms displayed for us to explore and analyze on the page. The plot still manages to shock with its secrets, yet it delivers a satisfying turn of events that is sure to leave its readership fulfilled. Overall, I would definitely recommend In This Life for women’s fiction fans looking for a truly accomplished author to enjoy.

Stacie Haas

In This Life by Christine Brae follows a young doctor, Anna Dillon, as she navigates her life journey—one that is marked by love and heartache. Helping her navigate along the way are the two most important men in her life: Dante, her best friend and the man who has seen her through everything, and Jude, the man with whom she had a 10-day passionate affair of the heart while on a mission in Thailand. When she must travel home to attend her mother’s funeral, Anna is bereft at having to leave Jude behind, knowing that his plans are already set for his life. When Anna doesn’t hear from Jude for five long years, she allows herself to fall in love with Dante, a man she’s loved her entire life. When Jude resurfaces, will she choose her husband or the man she’s never been able to forget?

Ripe with emotional punches on nearly every page, Christine Brae has undoubtedly written a bona fide page-turner with her novel, In This Life. It is a fast-paced roller coaster ride with unexpected twists and turns that you can feel with Anna as she is whipped around from one emotional wallop to another. It’s most definitely a love triangle story and it’s also a love story between true friends with complications deeper than you’d expect—questions of faith and faithfulness, secrets and regrets, and forgiveness. I highly recommend you read In This Life and strap in as you do for an emotionally-charged wild ride that has an unexpected, though satisfying, ending.