Cover Image: The Road She Left Behind

The Road She Left Behind

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Member Reviews

I am a Christine Nolfi fan.   With each book of her that I pick up I know that I will meet some wonderful, fully developed characters that tell a story that pull me right in and won’t let me go until I read the last page.    The Road She Left Behind is exactly what I was hoping for.    I started the book one morning, became invested in the characters and their story, and was unable to put it down until I finished the last page.

Darcy left her home, her family, and everything she knew when she lost her sister and her father.   She continued to run from life until she was forced to return home.   While I loved that she was returning home, possibly dealing with the reasons that she left in the first place, I was still worried that her mother wouldn’t allow her to heal.  

 Emerson was the reason for the return home and he was wonderful.   A cute 8-year-old boy that was more observant than most children, who grew up under the thumb of a grandmother who didn’t know how to show her love, yet he was full of love, life, and understanding. His spunk, his love of life, and his smarts all endeared him to me.   I became invested in this little boy and hoped that he would be able to keep his family together.    

This is a beautiful, family story.  It shows how families are not always perfect but they do support each other in tough times.   Darcy comes home, works towards mending her relationships with those that she ran from, and manages to find the happiness that she never thought she deserved.
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Thank you to Net Galley and Lake Union for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is my first book by Christine Nolfi and I really enjoyed it. Consumed by guilt over the death of her sister and father, Darcy has spent the last few years away from home. Even though she promised her sister she would take care of Emerson (her nephew), she just feels like she can't go home. One day she receives a phone call letting her know that Emerson is missing and she needs to come home. After some careful thought, she returns and starts to rebuild relationships with her family. A good story about family and learning to forgive in the wake of a family tragedy.
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I wasn't sure I liked the main character, Darcy when I first started reading. She seemed a little two dimensional when first meeting her. I grew to love her as she opened up to forgive herself. I absolutely loved Samson from the moment I "met" him. What a lovable young man. I love how he never gave up on Darcy. 

Darcy is incredibly wounded and her soul needs healing. She and Samson travel back to her childhood home, where they receive quite a frosty welcome from her mother. This is the first time Darcy has been back to see her mother in eight years. Darcy has been running from herself after a family tragedy for which she blames herself. She finds solace from taking care of her nephew, Emerson and Samson, as well as reconnecting with her childhood friend, Michael. Michael is her bedrock.

This is a story about family and how to rebuild your family when all is broken. It is a story of hope and love. They find their North Star. Nolfi left me with hope and wonder, as well as leaving me wanting more. I would definitely recommend reading this book.

Thank you NetGalley for the complimentery copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

#TheRoadSheLeftBehind #NetGalley
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The Road She Left Behind is a nice story about second chances, redemption, and the discovery of truth. I thought the premise of the book was intriguing and I really enjoyed the first half. I will say though that I definitely was expecting more mystery and huge family secrets to be revealed, so it did fall a little flat for me. Additionally, I didn’t really connect with any of the characters, and didn’t find their connections and experiences with each other overly believable.  

However, this book has phenomenal reviews, and it’s a pretty quick read. I think there’s definitely an audience for this one. It just wasn’t the right one for me (at this time). 

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟💫

Thank you Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.
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What happens to a family when tragedy tears it apart?  This is the question Darcy Goodridge struggles with following the sudden death of her father and beloved sister.  Feeling responsible for the accident, Darcy flees home and moves from one job and location to another every year.  Eight years later another family emergency calls her home where she must face the past and determine how to move forward.  The author has created relatable characters and a compelling storyline in The Road She Left Behind.  Thanks to NetGalley and to Lake Union Publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The Road She Left Behind is a story of love and lost; plus heartache. After running away from the heartache an event cause a girl to return home to find her nephew and learns her mother is dying. She faces her demons and overcomes problems. Finds she still loves her first boyfriend. Mending family and friends.
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Christina Nolfi has matured as a writer since I began reading her novels several years ago. In the case of "The Road She Left Behind," she writes an insightful, honest look at a family who has been estranged for years. Darcy is a carefully crafted character, full of wariness towards all people because of her family issues. Samson, to me, brings all the characters together. He is an 18 year old former foster child who tags along for the ride back to Darcy's home. He has the heart and soul of being able to truly see beyond the turmoil that the family has created for themselves. This is a book I will go back and read again. 

Thank you to the author, NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.
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Once again, Christine Nolfi turns in a stellar examination of the impact of secrets on the lives of multiple generations.  In her trademark descriptive prose, she peels back layers of assumptions, misunderstandings, and intentional misdirection to reveal the truth that tainted lives and relationships.  Her characters are multi-faceted and true-to-life; they defy my ability to predict what they will do next.  I was drawn in from the beginning and am glad to have watched their journey unfold to the surprising conclusion.
I voluntarily read an advanced review copy provided by the publishers via Netgalley.  I offer my honest opinion in response.
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The Road She Left Behind just blew me away. Such a great story—such turmoil and emotions. Darcy is running away from her past, running for eight years. Then all of sudden, she gets pulled back to the life that she was running to avoid.

There are so many secrets and lies from the past, things that cannot be forgiven—until they need to be in order for life to move on. The relationships and drama between the characters is what intrigued me about this story. Everyone and everything is so intertwined that figuring it all out is what drove me to keep turning the pages.

The story has amazing, strong, and interesting characters—characters who fight, support, and love each other. I loved the interactions between Rosalind, the staunch, upstanding judge, and her eight year old grandson, who is truly wise beyond his years.

I was excited to start reading The Road She Left Behind and was sad when I got to the last page. I wasn't ready to be done with this adventure and my time in this wonderful story. This is definitely a book that you are going to want to read as soon as possible. 

"The things you own don't bring happiness."
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Christine Nolfi always has a way of capturing me and pulling me in. Once again, in ROAD, she has written characters I can identify with and a story so engrossing it is difficult to put down until I’ve finished. There is deep pain and buried secrets with these characters. The main character, Darcy, goes back home after leaving eight years previously, with pain, to a bitter mother and beloved nephew. With all the secrets that come out, this book keeps you wondering and enthralled until the last words. I gratefully received an ARC from NetGalley, Lake Union and Christine Nolfi in exchange for my honest review. Christine Nolfi also kindly sent me the audiobook and I greatly enjoyed getting to listen to the fabulous narration by Megan Tusing.
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Christine Nolfi made me fall in love with this book and all of its characters. Darcy held everything inside from the minute her family tragedy happened. 8 years later she goes home and it all starts to come open. I think Samson might have been my favorite character. So good hearted and kind. Just what the world needs more of. Thank you Netgalley for the wonderful opportunity to read this book early!!
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Another great book by Christine Nolfi!

It’s been a year... time for Darcy to move on. Her coworkers throw her a going away party on one of the company boats. Fun for them... not so much for her. She hadn’t realized Samson was on the boat. This time she’d made a friend. Leaving this sweet teenage boy, who’d had a rough life of his own would be hard. He’d come to look up to her. 

But Darcy’s routine of moving once a year is going fine. She’s packing up the car and emptying her apartment. Then she gets the call. Her mother’s housekeeper, Latrice. “You must come home”, Latrice tells her. 

After much deliberating, not only does Darcy decide not to leave Samson behind, but she decides to return home. It’s the anniversary of her father and sisters tragic deaths and her nephew, Emerson, is missing. 

Will they find Emerson? Will she be able to mend the broken relationship with her mother?Will she rekindle friendship and romance with her childhood friend and neighbor, Michael? 

The Road She Left Behind has so many relationship ups and downs! It didn’t take long for me to be pulled in to Darcy’s story and I had to keep reading to see what would happen next! You’ll love it too!

I received an ARC from the publisher and am voluntarily sharing my opinions here.
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Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for my ARC copy in exchange for my honest review! If I could I would date this higher! This page turning book will keep you guessing till the end! I could not put this down till I finished it! A first read from this author! So emotional reading this book that there were times I had tears in my eyes. I could feel the true sadness of Darcy. This book starts with so many secrets, regrets and sadness you pray she can move forward! The characters were great! I absolutely loved this book and can't wait to read more from her! A must read !!!
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There’s a saying you can never go home again.  Is that really true? Well, Darcy Goodridge is about to find out.  She ran away eight years ago when her father and sister died in a horrible car accident and has never considering coming home.  She never felt truly loved or wanted by her mother in the first place, and the resentment after the accident was more than she could bear.  So she left her mother and her infant nephew, and the man she loved, behind and began a transient life, never really making any deep connections and moving on every year because she couldn’t stand the thought of losing any more.  But now her nephew has run away and she must go home to try and find him, and to see if there is anything left of the life she escaped.

What a wonderful, superbly told story this is.  The people feel so real, you can imagine you are right there with them.  So many secrets, such heartbreak.  So many misunderstandings.  Isn’t it time for it all to stop?  But can it?

This is a book with a marvelous, compelling cast of characters, all with a backstory and tale to tell.   So true to life.  Even the unlikable folks have redeeming qualities, and your favorites have some flaws.   And Darcy’s young friend Samson is a precious treat.  As the story unfolds you learn more and more about the role everyone has played in this tragedy with long roots.  Many surprises that you won’t see coming.  

Thank you, author Christine Nolfi for writing this beautiful story and thank you, NetGalley for the privilege of reading and reviewing an advance copy of The Road She Left Behind.  It makes you laugh and it makes you cry but ultimately it leaves you smiling because you feel so fulfilled and satisfied
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The Road She Left Behind by Christine Nolfi is the work of a skilled storyteller. It is the story of the reuniting and rebuilding of family and friendship after tragedy. It is coming to terms with the past while dealing with heartbreak and healing. 

The story touched me in so many ways. I could relate to the characters, their feelings, their anger, and their sense of loss. To recount the story would not do the characters and the book justice. 

I highly recommend that you read this book. It is, as I said, a well written and an engaging story.

Thank you #Netgalley and #LakeUnionPublishing for approving my request.  The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.
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This author made me fall in love with the characters so much that I was sad when it ended. This is such a beautiful and touching story, I was hooked from the beginning. 4/5
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Christine Nolfi has done it again!  This story had me crying and laughing out loud as the story unfolds.  We all have had to chose which path to follow.  The death of Darcy's sister and father had her changing paths each year. Finally she takes the path home.  Here she comes to grips with her past and the destruction of those around her, including her mother, nephew, and an old boyfriend.  Once facts are faced we all are able to hope and love wins. You will not be able to put this book down until the last page is turned.
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Christine Nolfi tears at every heartstring in this delicious novel about second chances, coming home, love, guilt and secrets. If any of those are your cup of tea, run, don't walk (seriously) to read this book! 

The characters and descriptions are so very well done that I found myself wanting to sink into the story and read slower so that the end wouldn't sneak up on me so quickly. I could see the characters in my mind and touch and smell the settings described so well.

If I haven't convinced you yet that this is the story for you, the characters of Samson and Emerson will. They are bigger than life examples of all that is touching, heartwarming and different in the lives of children vs the lives of adults. These characters retain a wonderful innocence in spite of the hurdles they've faced. I wanted both of them in my life almost as soon as I met them. 

Do yourself or someone you care for a favor and read The Road She Left Behind. If you don't feel like picking up the phone and mending a fence or two when it's over, I'd be very surprised.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and publisher for an ARC at my request. My thoughts in this review are my own and freely given.
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Darcy Goodridge left Chagrin Falls, Ohio eight years ago after a tragic accident that resulted in the deaths of both her sister, Elizabeth and her father, Dr. Jack.  Darcy hasn't spoken to her mother, Rosalind, in all that time, but, Darcy is now needed at home after her nephew, Emerson, goes missing. What is the real reason behind Emerson's disappearance?

The family dynamic is well-written, true to life and relatable. My favorite characters were Emerson, who's 8 going on 30 one minute and a typical 8-year old the next, and Samson, the 18-year old Darcy befriends and brings home to Ohio. Samson's quiet, calm nature was the perfect balance to the chaotic, tumultous relationship between Darcy and Rosalind. 

After reading Nolfi's Sweet Lake series, I was excited to read The Road She Left Behind, and it didn't disappoint. All of the elements I enjoy in a book were drama, a second chance at love and a setting that was familiar to me.

Thank you to the author and publisher for the advanced copy; all opinions are my own.
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Darcy Goodridge has spent the past eight years of her life running away from her family and life. She doesn't spend more than one year in any job or town. She has no close friends. She doesn't keep in contact with her family. When she left Ohio after the tragic accident that claimed her younger sister and father's lives, she cut off all ties. Yes, she had promised her sister that she would take care of her nephew if anything happened, but she knew her mother -- a well-respected judge, would never allow that to happen. Darcy is packed and ready to leave South Carolina in her rear view mirror and head to New Jersey for a new job placement, when she receives a phone call from her mother's housekeeper and her surrogate mother, Latrice, telling her that her eight-year-old nephew Emerson has run away from home. Darcy is prepared to ignore this call for help until the one friend she's made in eight years, an eighteen-year-old former foster child, talks her into returning home with him in tow. Needless to say, the last thing Darcy's mother expects to see on her doorstep is Darcy, much less Darcy accompanied by an eighteen-year-old, Black male, dread wearing former foster child. Fortunately, Samson has a way about him and is able to worm his way into Latrice's good graces and even strikes up a tentative relationship with Darcy's mother Rosalind. Emerson is found safe and without harm, but his return home leads to a bombshell that will rock the Goodridge family. For someone that has spent years running away from the past, Darcy now must confront it and deal with all of the fallout. That fallout includes her mother's declining health, revelations about her father and adored sister, and facing the love she left behind all those years ago. Is it possible to return home and mend the bridges we thought we burnt down?

I'm always excited when I hear about a new Christine Nolfi story. Her stories incorporate lots of realistic family drama often dealing with highly dysfunctional contemporary situations (some resolved, some not), multigenerational friendships, secrets, and romance. Needless to say, I jumped for joy (figuratively) when I received notice that I was going to be able to read and review The Road She Left Behind. I was eager to read this book in one sitting, but had to deal with a weather-induced migraine and then taking my mother out for her weekly grocery shopping. I liked all of the characters in The Road She Left Behind including the curmudgeonly and strict Rosalind Goodridge, Darcy's mother. The eight-year-old Emerson and eighteen-year-old Samson provided some great comic relief at times, but I could emotionally relate to both of these guys. Emerson was struggling to be mature because that's what his grandmother expected, whereas Samson was rather immature and naive for his age, but could come out with these amazingly prescient statements due to his observational skills. Samson had never been in a true family setting and expected a wealthy family to be happy. He was quite shocked to learn that Darcy's family was anything but happy despite their wealth and privilege. Darcy and Michael's friendship is gradually rebuilt as well as their romance. Yes, there's a lot going on in The Road She Left Behind, but if I told you everything you wouldn't need to read the book. If you've ever read anything by Ms. Nolfi, then I don't have to tell you to get a copy of this book as soon as possible but I will anyway. If you've never read anything by Ms. Nolfi, then The Road She Left Behind might be a good book to start with, especially if you enjoy stories with family angst, drama, and romance. For now, I'm eagerly awaiting my purchased copy of The Road She Left Behind to download on the release day and I plan on spending the very next weekend leisurely rereading this book, hopefully without interruptions.
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