The Road She Left Behind by Christine Nolfi
ISBN: 9781542004213 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781721388073 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07KYGDZRW (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Three women. Two families torn apart by secrets.
Crushed by guilt over the car accident that killed her father and sister, and torn apart by her mother’s resentment, Darcy Goodridge fled her family estate eight years ago and hasn’t looked back. Now an unexpected phone call threatens to upend what little serenity she’s found. Her nephew, Emerson, who was just a baby when his mother died, has gone missing. Darcy must return home and face her past in order to save him.
Once back in Ohio, Darcy realizes there’s more to Emerson’s disappearance—and to the sudden retirement of her mother, Rosalind—than meets the eye. As she works to make inroads with Rosalind, Darcy begins to unravel a decades-old secret that devastated her family and forced a wedge between her and Michael Varano, the man she left heartbroken when she vanished after the funeral. After carrying the scars of that fateful night for almost a decade, Darcy is determined to find closure, healing, and maybe even love where she lost them all in the first place—right back home where she belongs.
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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.
I'm a reader, an avid reader, or perhaps a rabid reader (at least according to my family). I enjoy reading from a variety of different genres but particularly enjoy fiction, mystery, suspense, thrillers, ChickLit, romance and classics. I also enjoy reading about numerous non-fiction subjects including aromatherapy, comparative religions, herbalism, naturopathic medicine, and tea.
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