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The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
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The Girl You Left Behind (edition 2012)

by Jojo Moyes

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8566910,449 (4.04)26
Member:Youdid
Title:The Girl You Left Behind
Authors:Jojo Moyes
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (2012), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

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Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)

Beforehand I did not know what this book was about so when it began during the first world war I was pleasantly surprised. Most books when they are set during wartime it is mostly the second world war.

The narrator and the story was very interesting. Then all of a sudden I was taken from that beautiful but sad little french town, ripped away from the villagers to arrive in Aldwych London UK in the Year of 2006.

I did nto expect it and it took me a while to get used to the new characters. The narrator is quite annoying and the way she and her new lover behave is quite weird but hey, I tried not to care and after a while I got back to enjoying the story.

Some notes I made:

"This time I did not dare watch his progress through the store but from the flush at the back of my neck, I knew he had stopped again to look at me. I felt briefly infuriated"

I wish I had such a neck! Very handy.

Then there was a sentence in German which to me did sound wrong. This sentence was spoken by a German soldier and I don't think a German would say it like that. I am Dutch which is very different but at school I learned German.
Sie können nicht berühren die Frauen. Sie können die Frauen nicht berühren would maybe have been better.

There were more interesting pieces which I will add later cause I want to play an hour on my ps3 before going to bed. ;)
All in all I did enjoy this book. The author managed to captivate me. ( )
  Marlene-NL | Mar 12, 2016 |
I knew walking into this book that there would be an element of sadness to it so it took me a while to actually pick it up and start it. When a story is too depressing, I get stuck feeling sad for days so I was hoping and praying that this wouldn't be the case. I actually really enjoyed the book and was satisfied with the way it ended. It is definitely a book that makes you think and realize that you shouldn't take the luxuries you have for granted.


One thing I really like about the story is that it wasn't predictable. I never knew what would happen next. I had hunches and theories but I was never sure and that kept me reading well into the night. I also enjoyed how the author switched between past and present. The main plot revolved around a portrait of Sophie when she had been in Paris with Edouard. The portrait caused both pleasure and pain for Sophie in the past. In the present, in is owned by Liv Halston, whose late husband gave it to her as a gift. She loves the portrait and when a long lost Lefevre relative says it was stolen and tries to take her to court to get it back, Liv, like Sophie, is willing to make huge sacrifices. Liv is also strong, but stubborn in my opinion. The court case could cause her to lose everything but she won't give up. I liked that about her but at the same time, I was frustrated with her at times for being so one sided and not realizing how much she has on the line. She did smarten up toward the end and again, I thought I knew what would happen and I was mistaken and pleasantly surprised.

If you enjoyed Sarah's Key (which I did), you will like this story. It definitely has its depressing moments but also some inspiring ones. Sophie was an extremely strong character who took extreme risks to keep her family safe. She never gave up on her hope that she and her sister Helene would see their husbands again. Helene was less confident and often leaned on Sophie for support but when the time came for it, she found the emotional strength she needed as well. Edith, although not a huge character, was the one I felt the most emotionally attached to. I wanted to know more about her life after Sophie was taken. She was so young to have to deal with so much loss. ( )
  Lagnella | Mar 4, 2016 |
I loved this story, it captivated me from the first page. The first 100 pages or so are about Sophie and her family, living in a small French town during the WW1 occupation in 1917 by the Germans. They own a tavern and they are obliged to cook for their occupiers. One of them, the Kommandant has an interest in an intriguing painting of her that hangs on their walls. Jojo Moyes paints the war and daily life so clearly that you feel like you’re there. I was really rooting for her that she would be ok but you are kind of left hanging in there because the story fast forwards to the here and now and you follow Liv who also has a connection to the same painting from so long ago. What happened to Sophie, what will happen to the painting, how far are people willing to go for love, all questions that Jojo Moyes expertly unfolds. A brilliant and touching love story. ( )
1 vote Ingstje | Jan 18, 2016 |
This book's title is a triple-entente. Part historical romance, part court-room case, and part a journalist's story, there is more than one girl left behind. First part, is Sophie's story, a French girl with a portrait of herself, whose husband, Edouard LeFevre,had painted of her years before. But Edoward has now gone off to fight with his countrymen in the Great War. Sophie lives in an town occupied by German soldiers, and one, the commandant takes a liking to Sophie's portrait, and to Sophie, when he (the commandant) dines at the hotel Sophie and her sister run. Jumping to part two of the story, it turns to modern-day London, and Liv Halston, a widow, who now owns the portrait bought for her by her late husband, David, while on their honeymoon. Liv grieves for the four-years deceased David and can't let go of the painting named, The Girl You Left Behind. When the provenance and ownership of the painting comes into question, it leads to a court case, and Liv fights to keep it in her possession. The connecting intertwining thread, the painting's provenance, isn't revealed until near the very end. Neither is it known if art investigator, and Liv's off-again-on again romantic interest, Paul McCafferty, is her friend or foe. To tell more would be a spoiler, so I just say that I do think this is a book well worth reading. ( )
  PaperDollLady | Aug 5, 2015 |
Only on rare occasions, am I left reflecting at the end of a novel, feeling so gratified that I can hardly wait to give it five stars. Jojo Moyes’ book, the Girl You Left Behind, is just such a novel. It is a magnificent, turbulent story about a young woman, Sophie LeFevre, who awaits the return of her beloved husband, who has gone off to fight in World War I. When the Germans occupy her town, and Sophie catches the eye of Kommandant Freiderich Hencken (the enemy), Sophie risks everything to reunite with her missing husband, Edouard, a former artist from the Matisse Academy in Paris. Sophie, being the subject of a provocative painting created by Edouard, transcends time to the present day through this incredible work of art. Nearly a hundred years later, Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv Halston from her architect husband, shortly before his untimely death. The portrait then becomes the center of controversy in an embroiled court battle to see who will possess the illustrious painting. I loved the parallels between Sophie and Liv, as both women encountered embittered hardships and obstacles in their lives, to which they met with incredible courage. I also loved the unpredictability of the story, which seemed to take various twists and turns along the way. Even at the conclusion, one wonders about the final resolution, as the author suggests that a more pleasing outcome might just be possible. ( )
1 vote haymaai | Jul 7, 2015 |
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Book description
What happened to the girl you left behind?

France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by Edouard - a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision.

Almost a century later, and Sophie's portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting's true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv's life upside down all over again . . .

In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for what they love most - whatever the cost.

If you can't wait for The Girl You Left Behind treat yourself to the prequel, Honeymoon in Paris, Jojo Moyes' irresistible ebook-only novella out now.
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Unwillingly rendered an object of obsession by the Kommandant occupying her small French town in World War I, Sophie risks everything to reunite with her husband a century before a widowed Liv tests her resolve to claim ownership of Sophie's portrait.… (more)

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