Christine Nolfi has written an intelligent, well thought out story filled with honest emotions The small details that bring the characters to life is brilliant life swirls around each one, closing in until they must deal with the past in order to face the future Darcy deals with a guilt that has her running from life Emerson is a little boy who is thrown into an adult world before his time Michael is the stable rock of down to earth sensibility that we all need from time to time You will meet Rosalind, Latrice, Nella, and Tippy Tippy is of a secondary character but she will live on in my heart She always made me laugh As a writer, Christine Nolfi has a gift of creating a background so unique to her stories that as a reader I can feel the ground beneath my feet, the wind or rain whipping around my face I can smell the turkey in the oven and taste the cookies She brilliantly brings out the emotions of not only her characters, but is able to let her readers feel the emotions as well Yes, I had tears from time to time, as well as laughter, and a bit of sighing I ve already started a gift list one to my sister for her birthday, one to my d I l for Christmas, one to my bff just because I know she will love itand the list goes on. Christine Nolfi, Author of The Road She Left Behind has written a thought provoking, emotional, captivating, and heartwarming novel The Genres for this novel are Fiction and Women s Fiction The timeline for this story is within an eight year period The author describes her dramatic characters as complex, complicated, quirky, and dysfunctional.Darcy Goodridge is finally coming back home after being on the road and in different places for the last eight years Darcy had been running away after the deaths of her sister and her father The dysfunctional family dynamics and deep dark secrets were also part of Darcy s motivation to stay away from home Now an emergency phone call about Emerson, Darcy s young nephew has her coming home.Is it true that there s no place like home Darcy is left with an emotional mess to deal with, and other problems Christine Nolfi has written a story that had me chuckling a few times and also tearful Be warned there are some Kleenex moments I would highly recommend this insightful and thought provoking novel I appreciate that the author discusses the importance, of family, friendship, forgiveness, second chances, communication, love and hope. A great pick for your book club this summer Working MotherCrushed 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 himOnce back in Ohio, Darcy realizes there s 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 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. Darcy Goodridge has spent the past eight years of her life running away from her family and life She doesn t spend 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 rearview 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.PSSTI received my Kindle copy of THE ROAD SHE LEFT BEHIND and it was just as good the second time around and, yes, I was able to read it without major interruptions. I m sorry I really wanted to like this based on the reviews But it was very boring I finished it because it is winter and I needed something to pass the time.Wouldn t it be nice for all of us to live in a mansion on an estate and have lots of money and everything works out That s not life There was no conflict and the end was easy to figure out The biggest nail biter was the storm.Honestly, the story is completely forgettable I don t think I will explore any from this author. The road she left behind is a story of loss, secrets, misconceptions, guilt forgiveness One fateful night changed a family forever Darcy Goodridge leaves Ohio for eight years kept to herself, moving from Job to Job sealing with grief All is about to change for everyone with the help of two boys, misconceptions, hurts and relationships will begin to heal Christine Nolfi pulls at your heart, her stories capture you in the first sentence you can t put the book down nor do you want the story to end You definitely feel like you could fit in the towns she writes about be friends with the character The Road she left behind will change you You will want to put this on your TBR list. Darcy has gotten good at running from the past So much so that she moves to a new job, in a new city, every year on the anniversary of her father and sister s death Darcy has only made one friend in all those years, a young man by the name of Samson, and she sees him as a younger brother, but even that isn t enough to keep her from moving Even worse, she doesn t even know her sister s son, Emerson, which is a shame because in the 8 years she s been running, he s grown into a fine and respectable boy But when he disappears, Darcy must fight her instincts to stay away from her overbearing mother and head back to help in the search.This one had so many feels Darcy s mother, Rosalind, is a piece of work She uses the fact that she was hurt in the past to shut everyone out, and while she sees that some of the people have good reason to be on the receiving end of her anger, Darcy certainly doesn t deserve it It s Emerson who is the key to unlocking the relationship between the two, and perhaps a bit of Samson, whose kind and gentle ways can win anyone over There was a bit of everything going on in this book, pain and healing, adultery, second chance love, and forgiveness It ticked a lot of feel good boxes The only downside for me was how rushed the ending felt There was so much fantastic groundwork laid out, and then it felt a bit rushed, but I still felt pretty great finishing it, and for that, it gets 5 stars. As always Christine Nolfi bits you hard with a very mixed bag of characters , some of whom like the judge you do not like at all but then by the end are living as much as you do the housekeeper or the young boy Emerson She deals sensitively with issues that many of us may have experienced ourselves or know if someone who has had some similar issues in their family lives , it also makes you appreciate what you have within your own family A truly wonderful Read from the first page to the very last 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 mother I did learn to like her and understand some of why she was the way she was By the end I came to like her a lot and have lots of respect for her also.My favorite character was Michael He was such a kind and gentle person who loved Darcy with all his heart Also all of his life He was the kind of man all women need I loved his compassion and the fact that he didn t ever give up completely He was resilient He was just an all around great guy.Emerson, Darcy s nephew was one smart kid His look at things was so refreshing He is one smart kid too He was a very kind child and had a way of making everyone fall in love with him I certainly did I loved when he asked, What is the average expiration date for old people He was very smart and saw than most though he did He was Elizabeth s son Elizabeth was Darcy s sister that was killed when Emerson was so small.Samson, Darcy s young friend who insisted on coming back home with her He was recently aged out of the foster system and looked up to Darcy completely He would tell her like it was at times too He was a great kid and didn t take his friendship with Darcy lightly He would stand up to anyone for her I really did like him He was someone that you would love to know for sure Smart, kind and loving Samson is on his way to a great life.Tippi and Nella are the next door neighbors and Nella was Rosalind s best friend until a betrayal ended that Nella, Michael s mother, lived a life of guilt and would give anything to turn back time and do things differently Tippi, Nella s mother and Michael s grandmother was a feisty woman who loved flirting and playing poker She loved to cook and cause a bit of mischief when she would.Darcy She was the strong young woman this whole story is about She s way stronger than she thinks and has lived her life in so much pain and guilt for the last eight years She blames herself for her dad and sister dying She feels like it is completely her fault and her mother didn t help with that at all Blaming one child for what another does is not fair It s a total shame for any mother to do so Darcy s coming back home made wonderful things happen than she could have ever dreamed possible.This book is so good It will make you laugh, cry, think, hold your breath, cringe in parts, scream, laugh again and cry lots of tears It s so well written and will definitely tug at your heartstrings It s one that you won t want to put down until the end and then you ll want I highly recommend this book to everyone I know who loves reading.I have to thank NetGalley and Lake Union publishers for this copy of a wonderful book for my honest review..It s another huge 5 stars from me You can t go wrong with a Christine Nolfi book.