Monday, October 7, 2013

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

The Girl You Left Behind is the October SHE READS book of the month. She Reads partners with some of the most savvy, talented, and intelligent book bloggers in the business. Every month these wonderful women read our selections and review them on their personal sites. They are kind and witty and love books more than air. We would love for you to visit each of them online and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t want to miss all the book goodness they have to offer!
From Goodreads:

In 1916 French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to fight at the Front. When her town falls into German hands, his portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything - her family, reputation and life - in the hope of seeing her true love one last time.

Nearly a century later and Sophie's portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting's dark and passion-torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened...

My Review:

This is a two for one story.   The first part is set in 1916 St. Peronne.  It is fall and their little town has been occupied during World War I.  There is a new Kommandant in the town and he has set his sights on Sophie.  Sophie’s husband has been gone fighting against the Germans and she does not truly know where he is or what has happen to him.  In this part of the story there is two parts.  The story of the occupation of St. Perrone and how a community reacts and survives in the small town and the story of Sophie and Edouard’s love.   Throughout the story Sophie reflects back and tells how she met and fell in love with Edouard.   Sophie’s portrait, The Girl You Left Behind, is what keeps her strong and reminds her of the girl she use to be and who she wants to be again.  At the end of this part the reader was left wondering what had become of Sophie, I loved this.

The second part of this story is 2006 in London.  This is the story of Liv Halston.  On her honeymoon her husband purchases The Girl You Left Behind from a lady who was throwing it away.  When her husband passes away suddenly Liv becomes very attached to the painting.   When a company decides that the painting truly belongs to Sophie’s family and it needs to be return Liv is devastated and decides to fight it.  In the process of fighting it she discovers Sophie’s history and the paintings history.  I loved learning of the rest of Sophie’s life.  The outcome of who owns the painting is right on and I believe that Sophie would be extremely pleased with who the owner truly is.

The way these two stories come together is amazing.  I had thoughts and opinions of what should happen and how it should be, but am pleased to say that I was not always right on.  The surprise twists entertained me until the very end.

Although you experience the feelings of despair and hopelessness in The Girl You Left Behind, there are also the feelings of hope, love and optimism.  I will definitely recommend this novel. 

Purchase The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Follow Jojo Moyes
Twitter   |   Facebook   |  Goodreads    |   Website

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your review. I enjoyed this book as well. It was an emotional read.