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The Road She Left Behind

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  6,136 ratings  ·  437 reviews
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 retur ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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Christine Nolfi Many thanks for your question!

I wrote the first half of the novel in 2017 over 3-4 months. Then, in early 2018, I threw out everything I had written t…more
Many thanks for your question!

I wrote the first half of the novel in 2017 over 3-4 months. Then, in early 2018, I threw out everything I had written to add the new character, Samson, and rework some of Darcy's backstory. Once those changes were made, the entire book came together in about eight months. (less)
Christine Nolfi As of this writing, I haven't discussed a sequel with my publisher. I'm presently working on a new standalone novel.

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Darcy Goodridge was devastated and consumed by guilt after a automobile accident killed her father and sister, her mother’s resentment toward her was more than she could bare. Darcy left the family estate eight years ago and she had no intention of returning until she gets an unexpected phone call concerning her missing nephew, Emerson.

Returning home to Ohio was the last place, Darcy wanted to be, but she had to find her nephew. Darcy quickly realizes there is more to Emerson’s disappearance th
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-2019, jun-19
It is easy to see why Christine Nolfi is one of my favourite authors. Her gift of storytelling makes it a delight to pick up one of her books and become totally captivated for hours on end.
Eight years ago Darcy Goodridge fled her family estate without looking back. Drowning in guilt over the horrifying car accident that killed her father and only sister and devastated by her mother's resentment she had to find serenity elsewhere.
An emergency phonecall concerning her young nephew has her coming
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs
Ahh family secrets always suck me right in and at its core this is about secrets and a family that is broken after an unspeakable tragedy. I also love when a character returns home after leaving in haste to deal with their past and Darcy heads home, unwillingly, but with her nephew missing she knows it’s finally time to face her past, as heartbreaking and emotional as that will be for her and the family she has left.

While I enjoyed Darcy as a character it was truly the supporting cast of charact
Rochelle Weinstein
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nolfi writes smart, sensitive fiction that will have you hooked from page one. The Road She Left Behind captures the core of the Goodridge family, a family broken by tragedy and long-held secrets. The stain moves through their lives affecting friendship and love until Darcy Goodridge returns home, forced to confront the past. Faced with a mother who has turned her back on her, the boy she once loved and never forgot, and the child who’s lost everything, Darcy embarks on a path to right the wrong ...more
Christine Nolfi
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I've loved every book I've written, but The Road She Left Behind holds a special place in my heart. This is my first stand-alone novel for Lake Union and the creation process, from start to finish, was a joy.

I hope you enjoy reading my newest release as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book!

Darcy Goodridge is consumed by guilt as a result of a car accident in which her father and sister are killed. Her mother, the extremely vocal and demanding person that she is, cannot hide her feelings for her surviving daughter. Darcy flees the huge estate and begins traveling from city to city, town to town, taking various jobs along the way to support herself. Every year as the anniversary date of the tragedy approaches, she flees to a new city and a new job.

She is
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This is my second book by Nolfi and I can't wait for the next one.
I liked this one just as much as the first one. Romance, Family, and forgiveness, did I say a little romance also. I loved Emerson and Michael and Darcy. The story was sad but well you have the read the whole story. I did want the story to go on, It ended a little to fast for me.
Pick up a copy of this 4 star must read.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all vie
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook


Like a mother shielding her child from the harsh reality that life, a haven blessed with sweet beginnings, was also a battleground cursed with bitter endings.

This was a welcome break from my usual steady diet of thrillers. I've read and enjoyed previous books by Christine Nolfi, but I think this is the best one she's ever written. The Road She Left Behind is a multi-generational story of a mother, a daughter, their nephew/grandson and the decades-old secret that devastated thei
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Christine Nolfi has done it again. The book was wonderful, filled with memorable and unique characters. Even the ones we aren't supposed to like were great. We follow the journey of Darcy, who is living a transient and lonely life. Her one friend, Samson, was such a delightful character. Together they go to Darcy's family estate and encounter the wrath of Rosalind, Darcy's pretty horrible mother. As Darcy gets closer to her mother she unravels some family secrets and connects with her old boyfri ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In The Road She Left Behind, Christine Nolfi takes her gift of storytelling to new heights. You’ll find it all here: deft prose, troubled relationships that overcome and triumph, and a plot that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Susan Peterson
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Road She left behind is an emotionally compelling book about a family torn apart by grief, guilt, and lies. Darcy left her hometown, her family, and her best friend eight years earlier following the deaths of her father and sister. She hasn’t spoken to her mother in all that time, and now is urged to come home when her young nephew disappears. The family dynamics in this novel are taut and honest, so many layers of frustration and hurt festering beneath the surface. The characters are well-w ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my first read by Christine Nolfi and I really enjoyed her style of writing which pulled me into the story effortlessly.

The Goodridge family have been torn apart by a heartbreaking tragedywith many secrets and misunderstandings kept secret.

Darcy Giidridge has always run from her past and the hurt which she experienced. Her only friend Samson looks up to her and when a family drama unfolds they both return to her family home. Darcy is reunited with her controlling mother, her nephew who s
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I’ve read (and loved) several of Christine Nolfi's books and this book was no different! She has a gift for creating truly special characters that you don’t want to let go of at the end of the book (seriously, I was so sad when the book ended – I wanted more!!) While I enjoyed all of the characters, I especially loved Emerson and Samson – Emerson is an 8 year old boy who is mature WAY beyond his years, taking dental floss with him when he escapes to the woods on an impromptu solo camping trip. S ...more
Joyce McGrew
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read

I loved the characters in this book. It was definitely a book I couldn’t put down. Looking forward to reading other books by this author.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 realiz
Stephanie (earlgreyreads)
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Darcy Goodridge hasn’t been home in eight years, since her father and sister died tragically in a car accident. Her sister left behind a new born baby, and her nephew Emerson now lives with her mother in their childhood home. When Darcy gets a call that Emerson has gone missing, she returns home to help find him. Once there, she has to face the guilt that she has been feeling all this time, an old love interest that she ran out on, and she must begin to rebuild a relationship with her family.

Donna Hines
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
When a car accident takes a father and daughter it's left a pain that is like no other.
Darcy must go back home to deal after her nephew turns up missing and she's left examining what's left and why Rosalind her mother has retired early.
As it turns out her mother's health is faltering and a family secret involving Michael Verano comes to fruition.
Michael was left behind heartbroken after the funeral and she's never truly spoken about that day until now.
Emotions run rampant. Feelings are worn on t
Darcy Goodridge has come home. She's been gone eight years, running from a deep family tragedy. What she finds when she returns is both exactly what she expected and startling different. As she settles in there are relationships to mend and new ones to foster. And at the heart of it all is the work she has to do on herself, self forgiveness and opening up to a new chapter in her family story.
I loved this book. But then I have loved every book by this author. She is a master at complex family d
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I so love her Novels and the way the stories always pull me right me. This was heart felt and I really loved it. Left me thinking about it after I closed the cover. Excellent read.
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
When I pick up a book by Christine Nolfi I know I’m in for a great ride. She writes southern fiction/women’s fiction like no one else. Her books are always a treat and so worth reading.

The Road She Left Behind is the perfect title for this awesome book. I started it and had such a hard time putting it down. I fell for the characters like they were long lost friends. There were a couple that I didn’t like, Jack, Darcy’s dad. He was a jerk of the worst kind. I also didn’t like Rosalind, Darcy’s mo
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.75 rounded up

Things I loved about this book:

~This book has a strong message of forgiveness. While the characters are just as flawed as we are, their actions have consequences that cause some of the characters to struggle. It's not until Darcy learns to forgive herself that she could truly move one. Emerson is the catalyst for growth for both Darcy and Rosalind and he is such a loveable character.

~The second chance romance in this book had me swooning. I'm a sucker for a second chance r
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 bein ...more
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: booksparks
This was my first Christine Nolfi novel and I'm giving it ALL the stars! Contemporary Women's Fiction isn't my usual genre of choice but the synopsis really had my attention. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read this beautiful story. 

The Road She Left Behind tells the story of two families torn apart by grief, secrets and distance on the road to forgiveness. The main character, Darcy Goodridge fled her family estate after the death of her father and sister eight years ago. Now news of her
Bambi Rathman
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Looking back isn't always easy and for Darcy Goodridge it isn't anything she wants or plans to do. The past is too difficult to contemplate and, even worse, thinking about going back to an angry and unloving mother Darcy prefers to never have anything to do with again, is not an option. There's too much heartache and pain to ever want to return. "If you're going to roam the earth like the prodigal daughter, there are details you'll miss." This is where the story takes a turn and Darcy is faced w ...more
ReadingGirlReviews (Gina)
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
4 stars

Is there anyone out there that doesn’t have family issues? I suspect the most common answer will be no. When I grew up, we had so many disagreements and issues in my small immediate family that at one point we had a running joke that if you looked up the word “dysfunctional” in the dictionary, you would find a photo of us. Here we are years later, and thankfully due to the internet; it is easier now to frequently update our family photo for the online dictionary. The Road She L
Agnes (BeaderBubbe)
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I have never read any books by this author but am glad I got this one because I am now adding her to my list of authors. I love the story about family because it is something I believe in. When Darcy leaves home after her sister and father die in an accident she feels responsible for, things were never the same.

She was supposed to take care of her sister's son, Emerson, but instead that responsibility fell to her mother. When Emerson runs away, Darcy returns home to help find him and becomes ent
Amy Cummings
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of receiving an e-book ARC of The Road She Left Behind in exchange for my honest review. I finished the book last night and I have to say, I absolutely loved it. Christine Nolfi has written a tender and compelling family drama that easily drew me in. The story centers around Darcy, who has been estranged from her mother, nephew, and an old flame in Ohio since a tragic accident there changed the terrain of her family 8 years prior to the book's opening. In that season of estran ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley and Christine Nolfi for sharing this beautiful ARC with me!

In order to not share any spoilers, I will share that this book is one that will prevent you from accomplishing any housework, so be prepared to hunker down in your favorite reading spot with your largest glass of sweet tea and dive right in and unravel the secrets and tragedy that have molded the broken Goodridge family for years....

When you leave that way you can never come home...but sometimes, going home is exa
Ritu Bhathal
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Christine Nolfi has penned a beautiful story here, dealing with family, secrets, loss, discovery and forgiveness.
I was swept into the life of Darcy Goodridge straight away, intrigued by why this woman was on the run from her past, her old life, for the last eight years.
Over the first few chapters, the story unfolded and we were introduced to characters who you fell in love with. Samson, the ray of sunshine who attaches himself to Darcy, despite her not wanting reminders of any pasts she has forg
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a story of a family that does it very best to let pride and guilt ruin their family. Darcy feels that she is responsible for the deaths of her father and sister and tries to do penance by never allowing herself to form any attachments. She sees her entire life as a series of mistakes and broken promises. Without meaning to, she has allowed herself to make an attachment with a coworker who wants to go with her to start her next phase. She receives word she is desperately needed at home. S ...more
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Some writers are gifted with an unusual life and I’m certainly one of those. I’ve lived in Ohio, Virginia, California, Utah and now South Carolina. In college I was featured on the front page of the Houston Post for a lark that erased all my debt. I met my four adopted children for the first time in the sweltering heat of the tropics. I helped build several companies and was lucky enough to earn a ...more

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