The Other Year

Narrated by Brittany Pressley
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Pub Date 15 Aug 2023 | Archive Date Not set

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Can the entire course of a life be traced back to a single moment?

On a coveted two-week beach vacation, working mom Kate Baker’s nine-year-old daughter, Olivia, vanishes suddenly among the waves—a heart-dropping incident that threatens to uproot her entire reality. But in the next moment, Olivia resurfaces, joyously splashing.

What would I do if she didn’t come up? Kate wonders. How would I live without her?

In another set of circumstances that hold a different fate, Kate doesn’t have to wonder. Because in that “other” world, in the pulse-pounding seconds after Olivia goes under, she doesn’t come back up.

Told in parallel timelines, Kate begins to live two lives—one in which Olivia resurfaces and one in which she doesn’t. In the reality that follows her daughter’s death, she maneuvers through every mother’s worst nightmare, facing grief, rage, and the ques­tion of purpose in the aftermath of such profound loss. She endures, day by day, in a world without her daughter.

In her alternate timeline, while she explores a tremulous romance with her best friend, Jason, she finds herself grappling with the ex-husband who abandoned Kate and Olivia years prior. Even as Kate scrambles to hold her daughter close, Olivia pulls further away. The line between joy and loss seems to get thinner with each passing day.

Woven into a single story, both Kates discover a breathtaking fragility and resilience in their respective journeys. Bringing to light the drastic polarities dire circumstances often create, The Other Year explores truths about love, loss, and the sharp turns any life can take in the blink of an eye.

Can the entire course of a life be traced back to a single moment?

On a coveted two-week beach vacation, working mom Kate Baker’s nine-year-old daughter, Olivia, vanishes suddenly among the waves—a...

A Note From the Publisher

The Other Year is also available to purchase on Spotify.

The Other Year is also available to purchase on Spotify.

Advance Praise

“In this world-altering women's fiction novel, single mother Kate Baker looks away for a single moment, only to lose sight of her daughter in the ocean. As a result, her world splits into two separate realities: one where she gets to keep being a mother and the other where she doesn't. The message is clear: Love your people. A tear-jerker with heart.” —Brenda Novak, New York Times bestselling author

“In this world-altering women's fiction novel, single mother Kate Baker looks away for a single moment, only to lose sight of her daughter in the ocean. As a result, her world splits into two...

Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook, Unabridged
ISBN 9781400243129
DURATION 9 Hours, 44 Minutes, 49 Seconds

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 106 members

Featured Reviews

An emotional gut-punch of a women's fiction novel that explores every parent's worst nightmare in a sliding door style that alternates between two realities - one in which single working mom Kate's nine year old daughter Olivia drowns at the ocean while on a beach vacation and another where she doesn't.

The book is a beautiful mediation on grief and guilt over losing a child in a way that could have been prevented and the strength that's required to forgive yourself and move on afterwards. It's also a great look at love and friendship and figuring out what role people play in your life.

Perfect for book clubs and great on audio narrated by my forever fav Brittany Pressley. Highly recommended for fans of books like Karma Brown's Come away with me or The possibilities by Yael Goldstein-Love. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early audio copy in exchange for my honest review!

CW: accidental death of a child from drowning

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This book was such a good reminder that life as we know it can change in an instant. The
alternate timelines throughout the book were the perfect way to illustrate how different life could be based on the outcome of a single happening. My heart was in my throat during the incident that took place early on and the story continued to be a page turner until the end. This compelling book is a must read in my opinion.

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I loved this one! It definitely had some parts but was so well written that I couldn’t put it down. I loved the Sliding Doors type of story and just had to see how both stories would end. Love her books and this one was so different!

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This was such a wonderful story!! It was very unique and eye opening. There were some heart wrenching moments, but overall I really enjoyed this book.

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Publication Date: August 15, 2023

"Not all great loves have to be romantic."

WOW. My mama heart. This book is heartbreaking yes, but it is so much more than a sad story.

We follow our Main Character Kate, and overworked single mom who takes her daughter on their family beach vacation. As soon as they get to the beach, her daughter Olivia goes for a swim. Kate decides not to, and in that moment her life is changed forever.

This story is told in two parallel timelines, the first timeline where her daughter never drowns, and the second timeline where her daughter does. While in timeline one, there is no grief explored there is an incredible amount of grief explored in the second timeline. It is truly an emotion read, but 100% worth it.

This is such a sad story, and as a mother it really makes you realize that one little thing can alter your whole world entirely, but I feel like it is something to really think about. This whole book is one big "what if" but it's beautiful to see how Kate grows and learns in both timelines.

I highly recommend this story to anyone who wants a gut punching emotional read.

The narrator, Brittany Pressley did a phenomenal job catching the emotion of this story and I don't think I could have recommended a better narrator!

Quick Takes:
- Emotionally Gut Punching
- Page Turner
- Navigating Greif
- Parallel Timelines
- "What If" Factor

Thank you to Netgalley & Harper Muse for an Advanced Audiobook!

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𝘚𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨!

I have no words, this book took my breath away; I went in completely blind and had no idea what a wonderful journey this story will take me, it was unputdownable. Loved every page.

Thank you Suzy Approved Book Tours for this tour invite.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗢𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗬𝗲𝗮𝗿 by Rea Frey releases August 15, 2023.

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Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Muse for gifting me both an audio and digital ARC of the latest novel by a favorite, Rea Frey and wonderfully narrated by Brittany Pressley - 5 stars

On a two-week beach vacation, single mom Kate Baker looks away for just a month and her young daughter, Olivia, vanishes among the waves. Kate's world is upended in a second. Then suddenly Olivia resurfaces, happy and fine. But what if she didn't come up? In that other world, Olivia doesn't resurface. Told in those two different timelines, Kate lives two very different lives - one with and without her daughter.

This is a beautifully-written, emotional story of love and motherhood and how life can turn on a dime. Every mother has had that instant heartbreaking feeling of having a child be there one minute and gone the next. In most cases, the child is just hiding, and you find them the next minute. The fear of the other timeline is always there. This book explores those two different timelines in such a unique and thought-provoking way. Highly recommended.

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This was a heartbreaking , emotional and elightening read , The author takes on on a journey through two time lines over the course of a year , one where tradgy strikes and one where it dosent , What if's play in all of our minds daily , this read tells a stoty of what could happen.

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This book was amazing. I listened to the audio and read the book. I was skeptical about the parallel timelines, but both stories flowed seamless. The first few chapters of timeline two were heartbreaking. I could feel the emotions as I listened and had to stop for a little because I couldn’t imagine the pain Kate feeling. It was so interesting seeing those “what if” moments play out. I loved that we got some romance in both timelines as well! My biggest takeaway from this story is that things will happen that are out of your control, but you always find your way.

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This is a fascinating "Sliding Doors" look at a woman's life with the two stories running concurrently every other chapter. It sounds confusing, but isn't and works perfectly for this story. The narrative deals with grief, has heartbreaking moments, but also moments of healing where we see a ray of light. I loved the ending and thought it was a brilliant way to conclude the book. Beautifully written and narrated perfectly, the audiobook is a pleasure to listen to and I really enjoyed this novel.

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Wow! I don't even know where to start. The authors note- I felt that in my soul! A sliding-doors type, dual timeline story about a mother and her daughter. One timeline with Olivia and one without. Both are about a mom trying to find herself while also being a mother. It's a hard place to be. I absolutely loved it! And now I just want to go home and hug my kids!

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This audiobook is narrated by the very talented Brittney Pressley. She brings this story to life and has such distinction between each character. It is a perfect pairing.
The Other Year is unique in that 2 stories are written alongside one another. 1. After 2. As of it didn’t happen. It’s relatable in that we have all had something happen and think what would my life be like of that never happened. What would my life be like if I never made that choice. This incredible story about grief let’s us experience the what ifs. It’s truly an unforgettable story. Gut wrenching at times, this story deals with grief.
5 stars all the way. Well written. 2storylines yet easy to follow.

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Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Muse Audio for the free audio book in exchange for my honest review. This is narrated by Brittany Pressley who does a fantastic job.

In reading the premise for this story, I was intrigued by a story that provides 2 different story lines at the same time, one being a child dies from and a child survives the same event. I have to say that this was very well done!

The author alternated between the 2 timelines by alternating chapters, and it worked by having the same set of characters though their roles shifted to fit the narrative. I was very interested to see if the outcome would be the same.

This is very well done! The character development was well done and accomplished through both parts which was a nice add. I consumed this very fast paced novel. I felt for Kate through her decisions and growth. I loved the ending!

Highly recommend!!

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I’m used to reading books written by Rea Frey with suspense at the core. Rea steps out of that genre to tell a beautiful story of loss, grief, and love.

This book has two timelines and goes through the course of a year. Timeline One begins as Kate Baker and her nine year old daughter, Olivia, are on a beach vacation. Timeline Two begins with the same beach vacation but when Kate looks down at her phone to check a text from her ex-husband, Olivia is swept away and drowns.

I know as a parent reading about what we most fear, to loose a child, could feel like a trigger. But this book weaves that tragedy into the story with grace and respect so that even though I was devastated at Olivia’s loss in timeline two I was able to understand the bigger picture. Kate’s life in both timelines are at the core of the story and those journeys make for a really engaging novel.

I listened to this book and the narrator does a great job of portraying the feelings in each of the two timelines. The beginning of the audio also has a note from the author that is very heartfelt and really made this book feel even more meaningful.

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This book is immensely emotional. It is about the death of a child. It’s told from two different realities. The first one takes you through the extreme grief of losing a child and the second one imagines what life would be like if that hadn’t happened.

Because this has never happened to me or anyone that I know, this was an eye-opening glimpse at the the surface of that grief, that I can never truly understand. I felt deeply for the mom and how sad it was that she felt like it was her fault!

The timeline where her child lives on, is a look at how differently we can view life when it’s taken for granted. The message I have taken from this book is to love and care for my loved ones as they are, with all their imperfections, and not to worry about the trivial things in life.

Another part of story is the romance issues the mom goes through during both timelines. She has a great need for love and physical comfort but doesn’t want to make any rash decisions.

I am glad I read this book and I am grateful for the ARC I received from Harper Muse Audiobooks via NetGalley.

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Thank you NetGalley and Harper Muse for the ALC in exchange for my honest review.
What if your whole life changed in a split second?
The Other Year really tugged at my heart. My emotions were all over the place while reading. The writing was absolutely beautiful. The parallel timeline was what really got me. It was done perfectly. As a mom reading this, I was just amazed at how realistic Kate's character was. The details were amazing. Such an incredible story and I will be thinking about this book for a while. Rea Frey -- I loved this story!
Brittany Pressley narrating was perfect!

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What a powerful book! This is a novel where the reader follows two timelines. The main character (Kate) and her daughter (Olivia) have taken a vacation to the beach. In one timeline, Olivia plays in the water as Kate stays on shore. When looking down at a text, she looks up and can’t see her daughter. Olivia pops up moments later. In the second timeline, Olivia drowns. One timeline is full of anger, grief, regret and blame. The other is full of struggles in parenting. The reader is left to see that both timelines result in similar struggles and emotions despite the differing situations. The book is beautifully written and hooked me from the start. I love Brittany Pressley - her ability to narrate with emotion highlights what a talented narrator she is. I have listened to 10+ books she narrated and she does not disappoint! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for both the book and narrator!

a HUGE thank you to NetGalley and Harper Muse Audiobooks for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook in return for an honest review.

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There is something so enticing about Rea Frey’s writing! I mostly listened to this one on audio and it kept me sitting in my car in parking lots a few times! The narration was great - each character distinctly captured.

The thing about this book is that it didn’t go where I thought it would. It was complex and we dealt with different issues in each of the alternating timelines. It wasn’t just - child dies here and child doesn’t die there. There was so much more at play. Relationships, love, loss, and big life choices.

And it gripped me - the author went right for the jugular letting Liv drown in timeline one. This book was wrought with emotion - real and relatable emotion.

You would think a five star review would be easy to write - but it’s actually not. It’s hard to capture just how much I loved this book - and what made me love it most, because there are so many things. But here is what I can tell you- I HIGHLY recommend it. It is a fantastic read and I hope that many of you grab a copy in whatever format you like to read books!

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Dear The Other Year,
I loved how uniquely you were written. Your concept was very Glass Doors, but I found myself lost inside both of Kate's timelines. I loved how everything came together for both of Kate's timelines, and I found the idea that there are places, people and points in our lives that seem to be unchangeable. The parallels between timeline one and two were endlessly fascinating for me to experience. I also really enjoyed Kate as a person; she had depth and heart and felt reflective and real to me. I look continuing to watch Frey's writing evolve.

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I have no words. Well, actually I do and its nothing but praise or this book. I loved every single minute. The narrator did a phenomenal job and brought the characters to life. I cried, laughed, and experienced every single emotions the characters felt. It seemed like I read two books! I LOVED the two different scenarios that the other mentioned in this book. I loved that she showed us what would've and could've happened. There were things I loved and things I wasn't too hot about in each case. At the end, everything came together and I felt totally satisfied!

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Gosh this book BROKE ME. As a mom, I felt every emotion Kate was feeling. The premise of this book is really unique. In one timeline Kate loses her daughter and in the second timeline, she lives. This had to be a really tough book to write, not just because of the subject matter, but also because its really like two books in one. Each timeline really could stand alone but they worked well together. The flow was really beautiful and I loved the emotion conveyed in the novel and the audio. Definitely check content warnings, but I really loved this one.

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I absolutely adored this book. It likely will be my favorite of the entire year. It was so well written and the main character was inspiring snd I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. I laughed, I cried, I hugged my family. Absolutely beautiful.

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What a unique premise. A little like a build you own adventure, but not really. Have you wondered what your life might be like if you made a different choice? I enjoyed this dual look into Kate’s life with one timeline being if her daughter drowned on vacation and the other if she hadn’t. It was an emotional read as the timeline where Kate’s daughter dies is quite focused on her grief and guilt and the people that surround her and support her through the next year. And you get a look into the same time period if she lived. And it wasn’t always what I expected.

As I looked at Kate’s two lives side by side, we see the good and the bad of her daughter surviving in the one but in the grief ridden one, she seems to remember a much different daughter than what is reality in the other. I both listened and read this one and I must give a nod to Brittany Pressley and her terrific narration. I’ve always liked her as a narrator, but with the two timelines being so different, it was her range was apparent of what a good job she did with both timelines.

The timeline where her daughter drowned are very emotional and at times were almost too much, but then that chapter would end and the chapters with her daughter alive would focus on the struggles of a parent with a child that is growing up,

This would be a great book club pick with a lot of thought provoking scenarios to discuss.

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I adored this book! It was well written and thought provoking. What if... 'I did this instead?'was the question, would have avoided a major life changing tradegy however this book has a parallel story. A sliding door effect and we got to know how life panned out had the tradegy not happened.
The narrator was fabulous. She did all of the characters!
I listened to to this on audio.
Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Muse, John harper media for a free copy in return fir an honest review.

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ᴛʜᴇ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀ ʏᴇᴀʀ
ʀᴇᴀ ꜰʀᴇʏ
ʜᴀʀᴘᴇʀ ᴍᴜsᴇ
ᴀᴠᴀɪʟᴀʙʟᴇ ɴᴏᴡ

I was in the mood for an emotional read and I’ve seen a lot of good reviews regarding 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑂𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑌𝑒𝑎𝑟 by author @reafreyauthor. So I gave it a try and well it definitely was an emotional read! I listened to this on @netgalley (thank you!) and the narration was great and really added extra emotion to this heartbreaking story.

This is actually more of a devastating read rather than emotional. My heart broke a thousand times and at some points I almost stopped listening. I think this really hit home because I am a mom of young daughter and most of this story focuses on the death of a child.

I pushed my way through and I’m glad I did because the author truly did write a beautiful story. She really did a great job with allowing the reader to feel every emotion, the sadness dripped off the pages. The plot was also thought provoking and the back & forth timelines really was unique.

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This is such an emotional and beautiful story. I loved the dual timelines and thought it was such an easy read. I have loved all of Frey's previous books and this one did not disappoint. I thought the narrator did a fantastic job and it was easy to listen to.

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Told in two similar but distinct timelines The Other Year tells the story of how it would be to lose a child to drowning and then in a parallel timeline how life could go on without this tragic loss of a child. This is a deeply emotional book that certainly tugged at my heart in both timelines. It explores grief, joy, emotional healing, love, loss and so much more. The author writes beautifully and really tied the story up perfectly. I am quite impressed with how she managed to merge these two timelines in the end. I highly recommend this novel. It really is something quite unique and special. Five stars.

Many thanks to Net Galley and Harper Muse for the ARC copy of this audio book, it was excellent.

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This is an incredibly emotional story about what it means to be a mother, how impactful that role is on an individual, and the fear of losing a child.

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I listened to this book while on break at the beach. The theme of the story occurs at the beach, so immediately I felt connected. The concept involves one traumatic incident, but two very distinct results, called Timeline One and Timeline Two. The narrator, Brittany Pressley, does such an excellent job conveying the emotion of each unique path. This is one reason I preferred to listen to the audiobook instead of reading it myself. Her tone alone helped delineate each set of circumstances. It's written well; thoughtful and thought provoking. I would highly recommend this book, but to make it even better, get the audiobook.
Thanks so much to Harper Muse for an audio copy in return for my honest review. The publishing date was August 15, 2023.

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The book begins with our protagonist, Kate being on a vacation with her daughter, Olivia. Olivia is an young kid and she dips into the ocean for fun. It set backs Kate's heart but within few next few moments Olivia comes to the surface.
What if the alternative had happened, if Olivia had not come to the surface? What would had happen with Kate? Could she bear such a loss being a mother?
The author has beautiful penned down two parallel timelines depicting the grieve and sadness of a mother loosing her daughter and also not. The factor of "what if" used as a plotline was something new to me and I am reading this author's work for the first so, I was quite impressed by such an unique plotline.
After finishing the book, I understood the meaning of this book cover and indeed, I am quite impressed by this piece. Definitely looking forward to more of this author's work.

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WOW! This story was A LOT! Trigger alert: Children death and grief. Also spoilers!

This book was everything. Funny, silly, sad, witty, charming, interesting, and so thoughtful. 2 different versions of what happens on a day when Olivia is in the ocean and she goes under. 2 different stories wonderfully intertwined. I listened to this book and as always the narrator Brittany Pressley was amazing (I didnt know she was the narrator until I started and it made me even more excited to listen!). 5 stars!

Thank you for the advanced reader NetGalley!

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The Other Year by Rea Frey

Thank you Harper Muse and NetGalley for the free audiobook.

“Bringing to light the drastic polarities dire circumstances often create, The Other Year explores truths about love, loss, and the sharp turns any life can take in the blink of an eye.

✨My thoughts:
This story completely wrecked me. I actually read and listened to this book and both were so good! Rea Frey literally ripped my heart from my chest and left me with a bleeding heart. All while my two boys were cuddling me. This book is not for the faint of heart and I highly suggest checking the trigger warnings. I loved to see the two different timelines and both pulled at my heartstrings in two very different ways. This story was written so beautifully. It was also written so painfully raw that I almost forgot I was reading a work of fiction. Honestly I’m getting choked up thinking about this book again. The Other Year is a meaningful and memorable story, written with pure talent and heart, and one I’ll never forget. There is so much to take away from this story and if you can handle reading about the loss of a child, you should really pick this one up. This one will break your heart and put you back together again.

“Slowly, achingly, I am learning to live.”

Happy reading!

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I absolutely loved the concept of two parallel timelines in this book. Each one told so uniquely. I would definitely recommend this book and read it again!

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