In This Life by Christine Brae
Secrets ruin lives, and lies protect those secrets…
Wanting to escape her life in New York City before starting medical school in the fall, Anna Dillon convinces her best friend Dante to travel with her to Thailand on a medical mission. While volunteering in a coastal village recently ravaged by a tsunami, Anna meets Jude Grayson. They share an instant attraction that leads to a brief, passionate affair. When she has to rush home for a family emergency, he promises to stay in touch.
But Jude never calls, and Anna tries desperately to forget him.
Five years pass, and Anna finally moves on with Dante after giving up hope that Jude will ever return—until they come face to face again in a chance encounter. Reeling, Anna discovers the life-altering secret of why Jude never contacted her—and why they can’t be together. But the passion that ignited between them on an exotic beach years ago never died, making it impossible to stay away from each other.
And Dante? Anna discovers that the friend she grew to love—and trust—has a secret of his own.
I normally don't use words like "beautiful" (unless it's followed by "mess," "disaster" or preceded by "fucking") or "touching" (unless we are talking about male body parts) or "soulful" (unless we are talking soulless).... regardless, those are the first words to come to mind after reading this book.
Wow. Oh. Wow.
Brae truly has a magical way of storytelling. I was glued and gripped and nauseous with anticipation of the next twist of this heart-wrenching love triangle. What a way to tell this tale. It's profound, it's soul-searching. It's sad, it's happy, it's mystical, it's emotional, it's angsty. Everything about this book is raw and real. It's how to fall in love and not to fall in love. How life should be and shouldn't be.
This is thought provoking. It's sensual. It's powerful.
But the writing. The writing is the winner here. Brae's power of word is a masterpiece.