Published: June 11, 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
Dates Read: June 7 – June 9, 2019
Genre/Category: Domestic Fiction / Romance
Read For: ARC from BookSparks / Christine Nolfi for Review
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 Left Behind by Christine Nolfi gives you a glimpse into the lives of a very similar family, and how grief, deception, and guilt can tear a family apart, but that love can always bring it back together.
Darcy Goodridge left home 8 years ago after her father and sister died in a terrible automobile accident. Consumed by guilt over the accident, and anger with her mother Rosalind, she vows never to return back to her hometown until a phone call from her mother’s housekeeper causes her to reluctantly return home to help for the search of her now missing 8-year-old nephew. When Darcy gets home, all of her past comes back to light, and she is forced to deal with her tumultuous relationship with her mother, a scared and lonely nephew, and Michael Varano, the past love she walked away from without any explanation the day after her sister’s funeral. As the days unfold, Darcy learns more about the mother she never really knew, the decades long rift between Rosalind and their neighbors the Varanos’ and why she was suddenly forced as a child to discontinue her friendship with their son. Darcy is determined to break through her mother’s shell and mend the relationships that were broken so long ago, and hopefully find closure to the bitterness that she’s held on to for so long.
From page one you will be immediately drawn to this story, you will become engrossed in the characters’ lives, and want to find out exactly what happened with the Goodridge family to cause such discord. At times the novel almost reads like a thriller, because you are trying so hard on your own to figure these people out. Christine Nolfi’s writing is very fluid and smooth, which makes her novel extremely easy to read. Darcy’s mother Rosalind is an excellent example of the mom you love to hate, yet as the story unfolds you find yourself wanting to like her more and more. Rosalind is the epitome of a mother scorned, and the author was able to really project the perfect “tone” to her character in words. There were times I found myself sniggering at how her dialogue is so well written. As for the housekeeper Latrice, all I could picture was Mammy from Gone With the Wind, and in my mind is was absolutely perfect. (Clearly my favorite character of them all).
The only downfall to this novel was that I wanted more. I felt like the ending was abrupt, and after being so involved in the story and the characters’ lives, I felt like I needed more depth on how things evolved. When I closed the book, I just sighed to myself, I would have loved an epilogue. I guess I just didn’t want to say goodbye.
No matter what, I still walked away feeling completely satisfied after reading this delightful novel. I devoured it. This book has just enough drama, thriller, romance and let’s not forget ‘family dysfunction’ in it to please almost every reader. This is my first Christine Nolfi novel, but I assure you it won’t be my last.
Thank You so much to @BookSparks, Christine Nolfi, and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC of The Road She Left Behind for an unbiased and honest review.
About the Author
Award-winning author Christine Nolfi provides readers with heartwarming and inspiring fiction. Her debut Treasure Me is a Next Generation Indie Awards finalist. The Midwest Book Review lists the books in the Liberty Series as “highly recommended” and her novels have enjoyed bestseller status.
Sweet Lake and The Comfort of Secrets are 2018 International Book Award finalists, Women’s Lit and Cross-Genre respectively; The Comfort of Secrets is the 2018 Reader’s Choice Gold Medal winner, Women’s Fiction. The third book in the series, The Season of Silver Linings is the 2018 International Book Award finalist in cross-genre fiction, Reader’s Choice Gold Medal winner in Women’s Fiction, and American Book Fest Best Book Award finalist in Women’s Lit.
Christine’s next release with Lake Union Publishing, The Road She Left Behind is now available for preorder. Book release date: June 11, 2019.
Prior to writing fiction, Christine owned a small public relations firm in Cleveland, Ohio. Her articles and press releases have appeared regionally in The Plain Dealer, The Akron Beacon Journal, and Cleveland Magazine.
Christine is the proud mother of four adopted children and two stepchildren, all of whom are now grown and in no hurry to give her grandchildren. She resides with her husband Barry and a crazy Wheaten Terrier named Lucy in Charleston, South Carolina. Join her mailing list for news and contests, and chat with her on Twitter at @christinenolfi.