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The Passing Storm

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A gripping, openhearted novel about family, reconciliation, and bringing closure to the secrets of the past.

Early into the tempestuous decade of her thirties, Rae Langdon struggles to work through a grief she never anticipated. With her father, Connor, she tends to their Ohio farm, a forty-acre spread that itself has enjoyed better days. As memories sweep through her, some too precious to bear, Rae gives shelter from a brutal winter to a teenager named Quinn Galecki.

Quinn has been thrown out by his parents, a couple too troubled to help steer the misunderstood boy through his own losses. Now Quinn has found a temporary home with the Langdons—and an unexpected kinship, because Rae, Quinn, and Connor share a past and understand one another’s pain. But its depths—and all its revelations and secrets—have yet to come to light. To finally move forward, Rae must confront them and also fight for Quinn, whose parents have other plans in mind for their son.

With forgiveness, love, and the spring thaw, there might be hope for a new season—a second chance Rae believed in her heart was gone forever.

317 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 2021

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About the author

Christine Nolfi

25 books3,864 followers
Christine Nolfi is the award-winning and bestselling author of fifteen novels, including A Brighter Flame, selected by She Reads as a best book club pick and The Passing Storm, cited by Publishers Weekly as “Tautly plotted, expertly characterized, and genuinely riveting” and gold medal winner in general fiction, International Book Awards. Look for Christine’s 2024 release, which will be available for preorder soon.

Other works include The Road She Left Behind, a top book club pick by Working Mother and Parade magazines, and the award-winning Sweet Lake Series: Sweet Lake, The Comfort of Secrets, and The Season of Silver Linings.

Earlier works include Second Chance Grill, highly recommended by The Midwest Book Review and Treasure Me, recognized by the Next Generation Indie Awards and Put Your Heart in a Book Awards. The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge was cited by The Midwest Book Review as “Poignant and powerful, as much a saga of learning to survive, heal, and forgive as it is a chilling crime story, unforgettable to the very end.”

A native of Ohio, Christine now resides in South Carolina with her husband. For more information, please visit www.christinenolfi.com

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5 stars
6,933 (40%)
4 stars
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3 stars
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197 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 722 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,185 reviews30.5k followers
January 24, 2022
About the book: “A gripping, openhearted novel about family, reconciliation, and bringing closure to the secrets of the past.

Quinn has been thrown out by his parents, a couple too troubled to help steer the misunderstood boy through his own losses. Now Quinn has found a temporary home with the Langdons—and an unexpected kinship, because Rae, Quinn, and Connor share a past and understand one another’s pain. But its depths—and all its revelations and secrets—have yet to come to light. To finally move forward, Rae must confront them and also fight for Quinn, whose parents have other plans in mind for their son.

With forgiveness, love, and the spring thaw, there might be hope for a new season—a second chance Rae believed in her heart was gone forever.”

I’ve read a few books by Christine Nolfi, including the Sweet Lake series. They are stories with substance but a light heart at the same time. The Passing Storm has a more serious tone, as it deals with grief and abuse in a powerful way. It’s also a story about secrets and family and finding one’s path to peace. I thoroughly enjoyed this thoughtful story of Rae, Connor, and Quinn and their journey towards healing.

I received a gifted copy.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Linda.
1,290 reviews1,331 followers
November 9, 2021
One of the greatest tragedies in life is carrying the ashes left behind from unspeakable loss.

Rae Langdon knows this up front and full center. She and her father, Collin, are lost in the fog of restructuring their lives after the loss of her mother and her young daughter. Lightning does strike twice in the same place. We will come to know that Hester, her mother, met death in a terrible snow blizzard that engulfed the northeastern portion of Ohio some time back. But the death of her daughter, Lark, is fresh and painful happening only months before. Christine Nolfi holds back on the details of Lark's death as we enter into this story.

Rae and Collin are managing a small family farm outside of the main community. Rae works for an insurance company and checks on her father who suffers from depression. She's been the rock ever since her mother passed away. But the most stabilizing support that Rae has comes from her best friend, Yuna, who runs an arts and crafts store. Yuna was my favorite character with her quirky dialogue and willingness to help. Yuna's five year old daughter has some of the best lines.

When tragedies strike, it's human nature that drives us to form a solid cocoon around ourselves to keep private moments within and strangers out. And that is what Rae continues to do. Yuna is her lifeline and it is Yuna who provides opportunities for Rae to slowly step forward. But Rae must take a leap of faith when she takes in Lark's best friend who has been abandoned by his parents. Nolfi does an outstanding job in portraying the downtroddened Quinn Galecki.

And there are deep secrets held tightly by Rae herself. This plot is not so cut and dry as it becomes apparent that all is not what it appears to be. The Passing Storm is not heavy lifting as a novel. And there are moments of questionable actions and outcomes. But, at the same time, The Passing Storm brings out the everyday challenges that arrive on one's doorstep activated by our own decisions or handed straight-up by those who don't always have our best interest in mind. Sometimes we just need a reminder that we are more aligned in this humanity than we ever do consider.
Profile Image for Wendy.
1,684 reviews569 followers
November 7, 2021
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.
She really pulled at my heartstrings this time with such an emotionally beautiful story.
Full of surprises and wonderful characters The Passing Storm explores how the human heart overcomes the storms of grief and trauma.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Robyn.
18 reviews1 follower
March 18, 2021
What a very interesting and emotional book! This is definitely a page turner and hard to put down for any length of time.
Rae is a mother trying to come to terms with her teen daughters untimely death. This is her story of surviving life's unexpected tragedies and putting the pieces back together so she can live life again.
This book is about life, mistakes made, secrets, a mother's love, healing and moving past the heavy sadness that can engulf us.
Profile Image for Kerry Clair.
1,039 reviews12 followers
October 12, 2021
I am completely and utterly baffled as to why this book has any good reviews, never mind as many as it has. It was pure drivel. A romance novel basically that was cloaked into and disguised as a real novel, which it wasn’t. The dialogue was so poorly written it was cringe worthy. And when an author uses dialogue between two characters to explain history to the reader, it is so unnatural and awkward that you can’t help but roll your eyes. Terrible book.
Profile Image for RoseMary Achey.
1,374 reviews
October 13, 2021
This book has a wonderful feel good ending which makes up for the rather dull first third. Writing was not as compelling as I would have hoped.
632 reviews17 followers
March 7, 2021
There are no words. The most beautifully written book that spills emotions on every page
Love, loss, anger, grief and sadness, forgiveness and friendship.
Rae has had her share of loss, it has hardened not only her but dad.
Quinn is the teenager in their town that needs a break, his parents don’t want him, and he has no friends .
Can Rae forgive him enough to help him? can she forgive herself?
There are so many secrets and plot twists in this small town that I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough nor slow enough to savor every page, word and emotion.
The characters are so well written and the storyline, which has a lot going on, holds your interest and flows together so seamlessly.
I highly recommend this book!
13 reviews
October 18, 2021
Nice, Easy Read

While The Passing Storm reads like a Lifetime movie, and it is easy to figure out, it is, nonetheless, very entertaining and is well written. No graphic violence, sex, or language.
Profile Image for Stuart Brkn Johns.
Author 1 book237 followers
April 2, 2023
Passing Storm

The Passing Storm by Christine Nolfi is a heartwarming novel that explores the complex relationships within a family during a time of crisis. Nolfi skillfully weaves together multiple plotlines and character arcs, creating a rich tapestry of interlocking stories that all lead to a satisfying conclusion. The characters are well-drawn and nuanced, with each one grappling with their own demons and struggles. The family dynamics are particularly well-done, with Nolfi exploring the tensions and resentments that can build up over years of shared history. Overall, The Passing Storm is a moving and engaging novel that is sure to resonate with readers who enjoy family dramas and stories of resilience in the face of adversity. Nolfi's writing is evocative and empathetic, and her characters feel like real people with real struggles. Highly recommended.

4.4 stars
Profile Image for Ronda Blanke Geiger.
316 reviews1 follower
April 17, 2021
This was a wonderfully written book. In the beginning you wonder what happened to Rae. As the book progresses you start to catch glimpses of the past. Once Rae starts to reveal herself and deal with the past the story really takes off. Between her best friend Yuma, the ex boyfriend Griffin and her Dad, Rae starts dealing with her past. Quinn really has an impact on Rae and without knowing he brings Rae into the present and makes her face everything she has been repressing. This emotional rollercoaster will have you glued to the pages and wondering how Rae will move forward. In the end it is a sweet self realization that brings everything together. I always enjoy Christine's books and this one was as good or better than the rest.
Profile Image for Susan Z.
668 reviews116 followers
January 14, 2022
Rae, an unmarried thirty-something, lives on her family farm in Ohio with her dad. Dealing with her share of losses, she's pretty closed off to the world, even starting arguments with a local teenager, Quinn, who sometimes trespasses on her land. Her reactions never seem to fit the crime.

Eventually, Quinn is able to get into her good graces and Rea's defenses start to break down. What follows is an uncovering of secrets and heartbreak.

The ending is so heart warming and truly made my heart smile. I loved this quote.

"Hope lights the way."

It fit the book perfectly, both literally and figuratively. This was a fantastic family drama and I can't wait to read more by Christine Nolfi.
Profile Image for Wendy W..
518 reviews130 followers
November 15, 2021
Four and a half Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭒
The Passing Storm by Christine Nolfi is an emotional book about grief, friendship, and moving on. I really enjoyed the writer’s ability to tell a beautiful story about grief and give the story plenty of hope and a satisfying ending.

Rae Langdon lives with her father Conner in an old farmhouse in Ohio. Both are recovering from terrible losses. First Rae’s mother, Hestor, perished in a snowstorm when Rae was just a teenager. Now, fourteen years later, they are both recovering from the loss of Rae’s daughter, Lark, who died suddenly at age 14, while at a friend’s sleepover.

Quinn, an eighteen-year-old teenager, and friend of Lark’s has been thrown out of his house by his alcoholic parents and starts to hang out around Rae’s home and barn. Rae and Conner are suspicious as they don’t know Quinn or trust him. He’s the son of no good parents, and they are sure he’s no good too. But, they soon realize he’s nothing like his parents, and he loved their daughter too, so they take him in, and he does chores around the farm for his room and board.

This book is so full of emotion, mostly hope and perseverance. These characters all have such distressing pasts, but they learn to lean on each other and help each other move forward. This book is heartwarming and hopeful and will give you a feeling of hope and community. I will admit that when I read this book was about grief, I was reluctant to start reading as I was worried it would be depressing, but I am happy to report that this book is the opposite of depressing. Instead, it’s uplifting and heartwarming.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves emotional books with a bit of mystery. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Susan (The Book Bag).
834 reviews70 followers
October 15, 2021
This is a story that will stay with me a long, long time! I couldn't stop thinking about all of the characters after I closed the pages of this book. The Passing Storm is an intricately woven story about the complicated past meeting the tumultuous present, settling into a new future.

All of the characters, and I mean all of them, really had some serious issues to work through. Watching them struggle through them endeared me to them and I felt everything they did. I loved everything about this story, even the hard parts.

I've read quite a few of Christine's books and this has now become one of my favorites, for it's great characters and the depth of feelings that she invoked in me. I highly recommend The Passing Storm and I know that you will fall in love with it too.
Profile Image for Laurie.
953 reviews
February 26, 2021
A beautiful, deeply intense novel that I loved!
What is a passing storm?
It is the turmoil and heartbreak in our lives that we must somehow learn to face.
It is how we "choose" to move forward with our lives..
This is the journey of Rae Langdon and her family and the options they take.
The Langdon's live on their farm and certainly need help. They have lived through some difficult times on their homestead over the years.

Rae meets Quinn, a young man who needs refuge from an unsafe home life.
Rae and her Dad, Connor, invite him into the home. Quinn is an amazing help, as Rae and Connor are to Quinn in so many ways.

However, there are so many painful, deep secrets that need to be shared between them all to clear the air from years ago and forgive.
Can each person overcome the guilt, heartbreak, fear, hate and anger to survive the storms of the past and progress on to the future?
This is definitely a story we can all use now!
My favorite quote of this book: "Hope lights the way." It's definitely a story we can all use now!
Profile Image for Judith Keim.
Author 93 books859 followers
June 25, 2021
The Passing Storm by Christine Nolfi is, I believe, her best work to date. Her deeply drawn characters come alive as the sad but ultimately uplifting story unfolds. It’s interesting to note how nature plays such a part in these lives, both in the beginning and at the end. I highly recommend this book. You won’t be disappointed.
Profile Image for Norrie.
461 reviews83 followers
January 31, 2023
The story was interesting enough, but the writing style was not up my alley. The dialogues sounded too artificial.
Profile Image for Denise.
300 reviews27 followers
May 11, 2021
Review of The Passing Storm by author, Christine Nolfi (ARC)

The Passing Storm is a beautifully written story woven with elements of love, loss, grief, and strength. It gives to the reader an experience where the past meets present, and the future can hold promise when even the darkest of clouds give way to hope, forgiveness and light.

From lives shaped by choices made, to its tension, and the unraveling of secrets, Ms. Nolfi's characters are written as fragile, strong, and full of personality.

The Passing Storm is an emotional family drama~ a solid depiction of joy and bitterness that energizes yet rattles the emotions as it breaks the heart, allows you laugh, and brings you to a most memorable conclusion.

I thank the author and publisher for allowing me the opportunity to experience a most compelling narrative of survival and healing that readers of any genre will find entertaining and meaningful.

5 Stars


Wild Sage Book Blog
Profile Image for Leslie McIntyre.
123 reviews
January 1, 2022
So Surprised!!!

To be honest, the first 30 something pages were a little slow. I almost gave up. I’m so so glad I didn’t! This novel was BEAUTIFULLY written! The characters were so multi-layered and complex. They were so developed and detailed that you felt like you knew them all. There is happiness and peace after grief, trauma, and devastation, and this book will show you that while having you all in your feelings. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it yet, but I thought I had the plot all figured out until I realized I didn’t. Such a page turner that I can easily see being made into a movie. Read this and you won’t be disappointed! 2022 is off to a great start!
Profile Image for Karen Komarinski.
960 reviews13 followers
October 1, 2021
Exposing the light can heal

The Passing Storm: Christine Nolfi: Has written a thoughtful and painful journey of family, friends and strangers showing how tragic events touched them all and had an affect on the direction of their lives. Lark never appears but her presence is felt, her soul & essence is apart of everyone she touched. Tragic event from the past still haunts Rae; her decision & secrets kept to protect others only caused hurt, misconceptions & eventually caused her to withdraw from life. When Rae opens her heart & home to Quinn & everyone opened up & brought light to the secrets they held close to protect others, love, forgiveness, healing and most importantly life begins for all. You will want to add The Passing Storm to your TBR list.
Profile Image for Joan.
43 reviews
October 25, 2021
I'm a stickler for writing technique. If I'm distracted by the technical aspects of a novel, reading it becomes a chore and it eventually hits the slush pile.

That said, this was a 'meh' book for me. I chose it as an Amazon First Reads based on the blurb and first few sentences, and I did finish it, but for the most part it slogged along and read like a first- or second-year creative writing submission, as unfortunately most of the AFR books do.

It had a lot of dialogue. I mean a LOT of dialogue, most of which was exposition. Rule of thumb in writing a decent novel: show me, don't tell me. I hate exposition that drags on for paragraphs and pages as an author attempts to explain by prose or dialogue the story, history, settings, characters, etc. I want to visualize what's going on and why. I want to see the characters, feel what they're experiencing, and understand their motivations. It's a tall order, which is why so many don't get it right.

This book had so much explanatory banter I was ready to hit delete on my Kindle more than once. I wasn't invested in the characters and couldn't get immersed in the plot. While the overall storyline was worthwhile, and Nolfi did give it her best shot, I wouldn't read anything else by this author.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
1,078 reviews27 followers
October 12, 2021
I needed to think about this book for a few days before writing a review. As with all of this author's books, it is filled with love, tears, and tenderness. I have to admit I shed a few tears in places.

The story takes place in Ohio on a farm. Rae has experienced some tragic circumstances in her past, not the least of which is the death of her daughter. She and her father barely cope with life. Enter Quinn, a high school senior kicked out of his house by his parents. Rae and her father take him in with some trepidation. However, Quinn manages to lighten their heartbreak in ways they did not expect.

This is a book that will grab your heart and not let go. I cried and rejoiced and found myself not being able to stop reading! Christine Nolfi is an amazing author and I love reading her books!

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book!
Profile Image for Cassie’s Reviews.
1,038 reviews30 followers
January 24, 2022
Wow this book will mess with your emotions!!
Rae is a hard working she’s been through a lot she lost her mother in a horrible storm and then her daughter in an accident. As she works through her grief she lives on her families farm with her father.
Quinn was once friends with Raes daughter he has a horrible home life, parents that could care less about him, he truly feels like he doesn’t belong anywhere. Soon these two broken people paths cross and they each help each-other in more ways than they realize.
This book was somber at times and I love Raes relationship with her father it brought up so many emotions. Quinn oh my gosh Quinn he’s so misunderstood and at times I just wanted to hug him!! As the story grows we see the depth of each character and the journey they go on, grieving, friendship and even second chances. Four stars
Profile Image for Karen.
54 reviews
November 24, 2021
I was really disappointed in this book. It had so much potential. A mother who freezes to death in a blizzard, a daughter who falls into an empty pool and dies from her head injury and a rape 15 years early that’s never brought to light. None of these events are fully developed and the suspense I looked for never showed up. Add to that the stilted conversation- who would ever say to their very closest friend, “They’re part of your late mother’s project?”. 🤮.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Karen McQuestion.
Author 31 books2,343 followers
December 22, 2021
The Passing Storm is a touching tale of healing, hope, and belonging. The characters were richly layered, and the satisfying ending hit a perfect note. You don’t want to miss this unforgettable novel.
57 reviews
December 31, 2021
Couldn't put it down

A story that I found intriguing from the start. It began with a lot of pain and mystery. After reading the initial few chapters, I was just beginning to become frustrated that the author had yet to reveal Rae's most recent loss. I had just began to suspect it was the loss of a child when Quinn confirmed that was the case. From this point the book flowed for me, I became more invested in the characters, Quinn's plight, the mystery surrounding Lark's parentage and her death. Griffin was introduced at just the right time without his relationship with Rae becoming the focal point, more a sideline bonus that she found romance after all the heartache. A truly well written , entertaining story that envoked a complex of emotions whilst read.

Profile Image for Pam.
4,366 reviews43 followers
January 12, 2022
The Passing Storm: is by Christine Nolfi. Rae avoided her friend Yuna’s craft shop when she knew Quinn Galecki would be working. Today, however, she really needed to confront him. Quinn has been trespassing and that really bothered Rae and her Dad. Before her death, her daughter had been seeing him without her permission and she didn’t like that as Quinn was older than Lark. Besides, he had no business reminding her of the terrible loss she had. He had been there when Lark had died.
Rae had never married and never told Lark who her father was. Rae had tried since Lark’s birth to live up to Society’s standards for Lark’s sake. Then at a sleepover.
As Rae deals with Quinn and his unwilling and uncouth parents, she learns a great deal about herself as well.
659 reviews3 followers
March 3, 2021
I received this book as a arc member. This book is based in Ohio where I am from . A women talks about the white hurricane that she experienced and the loss you had then the other great loss . A young man her and dad takes in her home due to his horrible parents . At first I wasn't sure about this book then I got engrossed in the story and characters . So well done . Loved it . This author did this story such an amazing job.
Profile Image for Tammy.
56 reviews
September 5, 2021
In this story, we are introduced to a storm, The White Storm, that came through and shook Rae Langton, the main character, to her core, changing her forever. I see this storm as a metaphor through the book on how Rae copes with the trials and challenges she has to overcome. The storm comes in, shakes her up, beats her down, then leaves. Rae is left to pick up the pieces and try to put them back together. In the midst of one of the worst time in her life, Quinn Galecki, a teenage boy with baggage of his own enters into her life. Rae takes the boy in, provides a stable home environment for him as she heals her broken heart. In the meantime, having Quinn around helps Rae deal with her past as she accepts, forgives and moves on with living.
Profile Image for Jeff.
1,305 reviews116 followers
April 5, 2021
When The Storms Of Life Slam Into You. This is a book that can be a bit oppressive at times in just how *heavy* it is. Our main character has suffered a lot of loss that she's never fully recovered from - some more recent than others - and now she has to confront it all. And yet, it is because of such heavy tragedy that the book is able to explore all that it does and indeed show just the level of hope and forgiveness it does. By the end, the reader is left feeling much lighter and more hopeful for the future, and yet also somber in the face of all that has been lost and yet also all that has been found. If you're looking for a lighter, quirkier book ala Nolfi's earlier Sweet Lakes trilogy... this isn't that. But if you've been through some White Hurricanes yourself, or maybe are currently in the middle of one, and just need some level of hope to cling to... this is the kind of book you'll want to read. And let's face it - we've *all* been through a White Hurricane, are in one, or are about to be in one. (And often all three at once.) For those times and any other, this book is very much recommended.
Profile Image for Karren Jeske.
1 review
February 23, 2021
Christine Nolfi’s newest novel gripped me like ominous, rotating clouds attract storm chasers. I cared about its intriguing characters from the first pages, and as each subsequent character was revealed, I wanted to know more and more about them. Finding out what made each human tick compelled me to read non-stop until the storm passed. This novel is tight, while Christine’s creative use of similes and metaphors add much interest and enjoyment. This is a story of unconditional love and friendship, life lessons, and unimaginable heartache. I wanted to savor “The Passing Storm,” but couldn’t put it down until the end. Days after finishing it, I’m still thinking about the plot’s secrets and surprises, and find myself longing to follow the novel’s characters in a sequel. I’ve read a few of Christine’s previous books and enjoyed each one, but “The Passing Storm” is my favorite so far. I highly recommend this book!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 722 reviews

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