A Girl's Guide to Moving On

A Girl's Guide to Moving On

by Debbie Macomber

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this powerful and uplifting novel, a mother and her daughter-in-law bravely leave their troubled marriages and face the challenge of starting over.

When Nichole discovers that her husband, Jake, has been unfaithful, the illusion of her perfect life is indelibly shattered. While juggling her young son, a new job, and volunteer work, Nichole meets Rocco, who is the opposite of Jake in nearly every way. Though blunt-spoken and rough around the edges, Rocco proves to be a dedicated father and thoughtful friend. But just as their relationship begins to blossom, Jake wagers everything on winning Nichole back—including their son Owen’s happiness. Somehow, Nichole must find the courage to defy her fears and follow her heart, with far-reaching consequences for them all.

Leanne has quietly ignored her husband’s cheating for decades, but is jolted into action by the echo of Nichole’s all-too-familiar crisis. While volunteering as a teacher of English as a second language, Leanne meets Nikolai, a charming, talented baker from Ukraine. Resolved to avoid the heartache and complications of romantic entanglements, Leanne nonetheless finds it difficult to resist Nikolai’s effusive overtures—until an unexpected tragedy tests the very fabric of her commitments.

An inspiring novel of friendship, reinvention, and hope, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On affirms the ability of every woman to forge a new path, believe in love, and fearlessly find happiness.

Praise for A Girl’s Guide to Moving On

“Debbie Macomber’s finest novel. Betrayal and sorrow can happen in any stage of life and, in this wonderful story, her very nimble hands weave a spectacular kaleidoscope of courage, struggles, and finally joyous redemption and reinvention. Macomber totally understands the human heart. I absolutely loved it!”—Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author of All the Single Ladies

“Whispers a message of love, hope, and, yes, reinvention to every woman who has ever wondered ‘Is that all there is?’ I predict every diehard Macomber fan—as well as legions of readers new to the Macomber magic—will be cheering for Leanne and Nichole, and clamoring for more, more, more.”—Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Town, Ladies’ Night, and Summer Rental

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553391930
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/23/2016
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 11,285
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Debbie Macomber, the author of Last One Home, Silver Linings, Love Letters, Mr. Miracle, Blossom Street Brides, and Rose Harbor in Bloom, is a leading voice in women’s fiction. Nine of her novels have reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller lists, and three of her beloved Christmas novels have been hit movies on the Hallmark Channel, including Mrs. Miracle and Mr. Miracle. Hallmark Channel also produced the original series Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove, based on Macomber’s Cedar Cove books. She has more than 170 million copies of her books in print worldwide.


Port Orchard, Washington

Date of Birth:

October 22, 1948

Place of Birth:

Yakima, Washington


Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college

Read an Excerpt



The first step in our Guide to Moving On was also the most enjoyable. Every other Saturday I spent the entire day at Dress for Success, a gently-used-clothing boutique. I loved dressing these ladies, whose courage inspired and stirred me. Many had come out of abusive relationships or were looking to get off welfare and find their place in the workforce. It was a joy to fit them with a wardrobe that gave them confidence and the hope that they could succeed.

“Would you look at me?” Shawntelle Maynor said, as she studied her reflection in the mirror. She turned around and glanced over her shoulder, nodding, apparently liking what she saw. “This hides my butt good.”

Shawntelle was a good five inches taller than my own five-foot-three frame. Her hair was an untamed mass of tight black curls raining down upon her shoulders. She critically studied herself in the outfit I’d put together for her first job interview.

I found it hard to believe the difference clothes made. Shawntelle had arrived in baggy sweatpants and an oversized T-shirt. Now, dressed in black slacks and a pink Misook jacket, she looked like a million bucks.

“Wowza.” I stepped back and reviewed my handiwork. The transformation was stunning.

“I need help with this hair,” she said, frowning as she shoved it away from her face. “I should have known better than to let Charise cut it. She was all confident she could do it after watching a YouTube video. I was crazy to let her anywhere close to my hair with a pair of scissors.” Her fingers reached up and touched the uneven ends of her bangs, or what I assumed must be her bangs. “I thought it’d grow out, and it did, but now it looks even worse.”

“I’ve already made you an appointment next door.” The hairstylist in the shop next to Dress for Success volunteered to give each woman at the boutique a wash and cut before her job interview.

Shawntelle’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. “Get out of here. Really?”

“Really. When’s your interview?”

“Monday afternoon.”

“Your hair appointment is set for ten. Does that time work for you?”

Her smile was answer enough. Shawntelle had recently graduated from an accounting class and was looking for her first job. She had five children and her husband had deserted the family. The agency had gotten her an interview with a local car dealership. She’d gone through several practice interviews, which had given her a boost of confidence. Now, with the proper outfit, she beamed with self-assurance.

“I never thought I’d make it without LeRoy,” she whispered. “But I am and I refuse to let that cheatin’ scumbag back. He’s screwed me over for the last time.”

I smiled at the vehemence in her voice. I was walking this same rock-strewn path. In addition to my volunteer work, I was a substitute teacher for the Portland School District. My degree was in French literature with a minor in education, which qualified me for a teaching position. Unfortunately, no full-time positions were available, so I filled in as needed.

Thankfully, Leanne was available to watch Owen for me and as a backup there was a drop-in daycare center down the street from our apartment building. I eked by financially, in stark contrast to the lavish lifestyle I’d become accustomed to while married.

I had to remind myself I was still technically married. The final papers had yet to be drawn up to Jake’s satisfaction. My husband had made this divorce as difficult as possible, thinking he could change my mind. He’d been persistently begging me to reconsider. When he finally realized my determination to see this through, he’d set up every roadblock he could, dragging out the settlement hearings, arguing each point. Our attorney fees had skyrocketed.

Divorce is hard—so much harder than I’d ever imagined it would be.

“You’ll call after the interview?” I asked Shawntelle, determinedly pushing thoughts of Jake out of my mind.

“You got it.”

“You’re going to do so well.” I gave her arm a gentle squeeze.

Shawntelle turned and wrapped me in a hug. “Them Kardashian chicks ain’t got nothin’ on me.”

“You’re beautiful.” And I meant it.

By five I’d finished for the day and I was eager to get back to my son. Leanne had taken Owen to the park. At nearly four my little man was a ball of explosive energy. I imagined my mother-in-law was more than ready for a break.

I got in my car and started the engine when my phone rang. I drove a ten-year-old Toyota while my soon-to-be ex-husband was in a nearly new BMW, a car I’d bought him with the inheritance I’d gotten after my parents died. That was another story entirely, and one I had to repeatedly push out of my mind. Rule number three: Let go in order to receive.

I frantically searched through my purse until I located my phone. Checking caller ID, I saw that it was Jake. No surprise. It seemed he found an excuse to call me just about every day. I was able to remain civil, but I resented his efforts to keep me tied to him. Friends had been all too eager to tell me he hadn’t changed his womanizing ways. Now that I was out of the house my husband didn’t bother to hide the fact he was a player.

This was supposed to have been his weekend with Owen, but he had a business trip. Or so he claimed. Because of what I knew, I’d become suspicious of everything he said.

“Yes,” I said, making sure I didn’t sound overly friendly. It was difficult to maintain an emotional distance from him, especially when he worked overtime to make it hard. Jake knew all the right buttons to push with me. Through the negotiations for the divorce he’d played me like a grand piano.

“Hi, sweetheart.”

“You have the wrong number,” I said forcefully. Every time he used an endearment I wondered how many other women he called “sweetheart.”

“Come on, honey, there’s no need to be bitter. I’m calling with good news.”

Sure he was. “Which is?”

He hesitated and his voice sank lower, laced with regret. “I’ve signed off on the final negotiations. You want a share in the house, then fine, it’s yours, but only when I choose to sell it. That’s what you asked for, right?”

“Right.” Which meant this bitter struggle was over and the divorce could go through. Twenty-five months after I’d filed we could sign the final papers.

“You signed off?” If that was the case I’d be hearing from my attorney shortly, probably Monday morning.

“It’s killing us both to drag this out any longer than it already has.”

From the minute I’d moved out of the house Jake had believed he could change my mind. I’d gladly given up living in the house despite the fact that my attorney had advised me to stay put. All I asked for was my fair share of the proceeds when he chose to sell it.

I wasn’t interested in living in that plush home any longer. My life there with all the expensive furnishings and designer details had been a sham. The memories were too much for me. Sleeping in our bed was torture, knowing Jake had defiled it. For all I knew he may even have made love to another woman in that very bed. Besides, holding on to the house would be a financial struggle. I needed to break away completely and start over. Jake had been surprised when I agreed to move out. I’d used the house along with the country-club membership as bargaining chips in the settlement agreement.

“Aren’t you going to say anything?” Jake asked.

I wasn’t sure what to say. “I guess this is it, then,” I whispered, staggering against a wall of emotion. My attorney assured me that eventually Jake would cave. It was either that or we would be headed to a meeting with a court-appointed negotiator. I was willing, but Jake had balked. Neither one of us wanted this to go to trial. The attorneys and the divorce proceedings were expensive enough.

“Yeah. It’ll be final soon,” Jake said, his voice so low it was almost a whisper. His words were filled with regret.

“Final,” I repeated, and bit into my lower lip.

“You okay?” Jake asked.

“Yeah, of course.” But I wasn’t. After all this time one would think I’d be glad this bickering and madness were about to end. I should be over the moon, eager to put my marriage behind me. I was more than ready to move on. Instead my heart felt like it was going to melt and a huge knot blocked my throat.

“I thought you’d want to know,” Jake said, sounding as sad and miserable as I was.

“Thanks. I’ve got to go.”

“Nichole . . . Nichole . . .”

I didn’t want to hear anything more that he had to say, so I ended the call. With tears blurring my eyes, I tossed my phone back inside my expensive Michael Kors purse. A purse I’d purchased because Jake insisted I deserved beautiful things. Now I understood he’d wanted me to have it because he’d felt guilty. As best I could figure, I’d bought the purse shortly after he learned Chrissy was pregnant with his child.

Wiping the moisture from my cheek, I put the car in reverse, stepped on the accelerator, and immediately backed into a ditch.



I don’t know how long I sat in my car with my forehead resting against the steering wheel. I was embarrassed and shaken, and it wasn’t only from the accident. My marriage was over. I thought I was ready, more than ready. The reality of it hit me full force; a deep sense of loss and unreality swamped my senses.

“Nichole, are you all right?”

A disembodied voice came at me. When I lifted my head I found Alicia, the hairstylist, standing alongside my upended car. When I didn’t answer right away she knocked against the driver’s-side window.

“Nichole. Nichole.”

I lifted my head and nodded. “I am such an idiot.”

“Are you hurt?”

I assured her I wasn’t.

“You’re going to need a tow truck to pull you out of here.”

I figured as much.

“Do you have Triple A?”

I shook my head. It was an added expense I couldn’t afford.

“Do you want me to call someone for you?”

“Please.” Still I remained in the car, praying I hadn’t done any further damage to my vehicle.

Alicia hesitated. “Are you sure you’re all right? You didn’t hit your head or anything, did you?”

“No, no, I’m fine.” I wasn’t. I wasn’t anywhere close to okay, but that wasn’t due to the fact my car was head up in a ditch.

Alicia hesitated and then left me. Breathless, she returned a few minutes later. I remained seated in the car, clenching the steering wheel. She opened the driver’s-side door. “Potter Towing will be here within thirty minutes.”

I nodded. “Thanks.”

“You need help getting out?” She studied me as if unconvinced I hadn’t suffered a head injury.

I sniffled, ran my hand beneath my nose, and shook my head. “I’m not hurt, just a little shook up.”

“Listen, I’d wait with you, but I’m giving Mrs. Fountaine a perm and I don’t want to leave the solution on too long. Denise has gone for the day, so I’m all alone.”

“Don’t worry; go take care of Mrs. Fountaine. I’ll be okay.” I wanted to blame Jake for this but I was the one who hadn’t looked where I was going.

Just as Alicia promised, a tow truck pulled into the parking lot about twenty-five minutes later. By then I had climbed out, had collected my purse, and was pacing anxiously, waiting. I’d called Leanne and told her what happened.

“You’re sure you’re okay?” Leanne asked, and I could hear the concern in her voice.

“No, no, I’m perfectly all right. I just wanted you to know I’ll be later than usual. Look, I need to go, the tow truck just pulled up.”

“Don’t worry about Owen. He’s doing great. Take your time.”

I disconnected just as a hulk of a man jumped out of the tow truck. He had on greasy overalls and a sleeveless shirt. Both arms revealed bulging muscles and full-sleeve tattoos. His eyes were a piercing shade of blue as his gaze skidded past me to my car.

“How’d that happen?” he asked, studying the position of the car.

“I wasn’t drinking, if that is what you think.”

He shook his head and grinned. “You mean to say you did that sober?”

For the first time since I’d ended the conversation with Jake, I smiled. “I guess it does look like I was on something.”

His smile was friendly, lighting up his eyes.

I wrapped my arms around my waist. “How much is this going to set me back?” I asked.

He named a figure that caused me to swallow a gasp. “I’ll need to put it on my credit card.” I had one I used only for emergencies. I’d once been free and easy with money. I could afford to be then, but no longer.

“I can give you a discount for cash,” he told me as he pulled out a thick wire cord and hooked it onto the car’s bumper.

“How much of a discount?”

“Ten percent.”

I did a quick calculation in my head. “What about my debit card?”

“Still got to pay the bank fees with that. Cash only.”

“Will you take a check?” I had a checkbook in my purse.

He paused and glanced over his shoulder. “Is it good?”

I was pissed that he’d ask. “Yes, it’s good.”

“Then I’ll take your check.”

Big of him.

“I know Alicia,” he said as he walked back to his truck. “She said you work at that used-clothing place.” He motioned with his head toward the shop.

“It’s a volunteer position, so it isn’t like a job.”

“Yeah, that’s what she said. She said it’s a shop that dresses women looking for work. Guess you must have a good eye for that sort of thing.”

He didn’t expect an answer and I didn’t give him one.

Once the car was connected to the tow truck, it took only a few minutes to bring it out of the ditch. He waited to make sure the engine started and I hadn’t done any further damage.

I set my purse on the hood of the car and pulled out my checkbook. He took the check, folded it in half. He looked at me and then paused before slipping it into his pocket. It seemed like he had something he wanted to say. I waited and then realized he was probably worried about the check.

“It’s good,” I assured him again, annoyed that he seemed to think I’d stiff him. Maybe he’d gotten stiffed before.

“Anything more I can do for you?” he asked.

“Nothing. Thanks. I need to get home.”

He gave me a salute and said, “It was nice doing business with you, Ms. Patterson.”

“You, too, Mr. . . . ?”

“Nyquist. Call me Rocco.”

Customer Reviews

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A Girl's Guide to Moving On: A Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms. Macomber delivers an amazing story . I love all her characters , I feel as they are my friends .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is such a lovely heartwarming story. I loved how the male characters showed their love to the ladies in this book! One made his homemade bread, another sent text messages. Both because they did not know how to express themselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how the author has us care about the characters from the start, Enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I f ell in love with the characters immediately.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very unique story. I loved the characters and was swept up from the first page. Definitely a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a sweet story. All of her books make me so thankful that she writes as I feel. Thank you.....
Anonymous 5 months ago
booklover6460 More than 1 year ago
This was a difficult audiobook for me to listen to because of the infidelities that abounded. Coming from a divorce setting that evolved from my ex having an affair. However, I was impressed with how strong Nichole and Leanne when they were faced with the realities of their broken marriages. And the relationships that evolve from their new living situations are interesting. I was so pleased to see that both women were open to different types of experiences and were willing to challenge themselves...and each other...to become the women they should be. I have to say that Jake, Nichole's husband, was a real jerk. He made me so mad that it was hard to finish listening to this audiobook. His manipulative personality was irritating and I really wanted him to get his "comeuppance." This was one of my favorite Debbie Macomber books that I have listened to and has encouraged me to continue exploring more of her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful book!
4theloveofdolls More than 1 year ago
Very well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book from first page to last!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Miccox99 More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the new beginnings series and what a book it is! You have LeAnne, a society woman in her 60's, who has spent her entire marriage looking the other way as she was cheated on by her husband. Then you have Nicole, the daughter-in-law of LeAnne in her 30's, who has just found out that her husband is exactly like his father and not only cheated on her, but got his flavor of the day pregnant. Nicole wastes no time, she files for divorce and heads on to start over with her child. LeAnne, taking strength from Nicole, does the same. The story follows them as they find their place in the world and taking care of themselves as they find their way. The relationships they develop with each other and the people they come in contact with. This was a very well written story of starting over and finding a place in the world after losing the only life you have known. The character development was rich and robust. I listened to this book on CD and must say the readers did an excellent job of bringing the characters to life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you DEBBIE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very charming writing. It gives hope to life after a divorce. Both main characters are very strong women.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book Review: A Girl’s Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber I enjoyed this book, and I wasn't sure that I would. I liked the idea of developing a list of ways to successfully navigate a huge change in one's life. This is a love story between an unlikely couple and honoring an old relationship at the same time. I'd totally recommend it.
Holly More than 1 year ago
A Girl's Guide To Moving On is the 2nd book in the New Beginnings series. Nichole is a newly single women with a young son after discovering that her soon to be ex-husband was unfaithful but as she falls for a single father, nothing goes as planned. Leanne is Nichole's mother-in-law with her husband being unfaithful for years until both her and Nichole take a stand to move on, they both discover that falling in love again is something different but totally unexpected as well. With Nichole trying to move on, she meets Rocco who is the complete opposite of her ex and who has a teenage daughter of his own. As her son would rather spend time with Rocco than her ex who then takes action against Nichole which forces Nichole to make a hard decision. After Nichole makes her decision, everything falls apart to only bring the two who are meant to be together in the end. Leanne's ex-husband has been cheating on her for years so when she finally moves out and gets a divorce, time will bring her ex back into the picture with complications. As Leanne teach's a class for people to learn English as their second language will bring Nikolai into her life and heart. But with her ex in the picture with major health problems and Nikolai jealous of what may be happening, it will all come down to a sad point in Leanne's life that will bring her total happiness again. I love books like this that go between two or more people that give their point of view of things and I could totally feel for what Nichole and Leanne are going through. I only wished that I read the first book in this series but you can bet that I will be reading that book in the future! I think this book is the reason why I love Debbie Macomber's books and that is that, there isn't that many Authors out there can draw you into a story that leaves you wanting more! Thank You to Debbie Macomber for reaffirm my love of your books with this story! I received this book from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
Robynn More than 1 year ago
I really disliked this book. LeAnne enabled her son and her ex-husband. What ex-wife cleans her ex's house, shops for him, grocery shops for him? Really? And, she should have yelled at her worthless son, too. Enough of this new age "understanding". The male characters were stereotypes and the 2 women, just weak. Wish I had my time and money back!
NotEnoughTimeToReadGI More than 1 year ago
I usually love Debbie Maccomber's books but this one I actively disliked. The characters were two dimensional and the only one worth caring about was Leanne. Although not impossible, the new relationships were so unlike the characters that I found myself annoyed throughout the book. I wish I had not spent the money on this.
lindyLW More than 1 year ago
It is a very moving book, It reminds me so much of my problems when I got divorced and how my ex husband ended up. It is a women and her mother in law who face problems with leaving their marriage, and the hardships they have threw the divorce and afterwards as they move on with their life. Debbie is a great author who I love her books and I am sure you will too. Once I start reading I can`t put them down.
Avid_readerRF More than 1 year ago
At first I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book because of its title. I thought maybe it was more of a guidance book than a novel. I finally started the book and found I was wrong, it was the other way around and as expected of Debbie Macomber it was a brilliant read. Love the story line, all characters and how they pulled me into the story. Definitely a good book to read!