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The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

The Girl You Left Behind (edition 2012)

by Jojo Moyes

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1,044818,078 (4.04)27
Title:The Girl You Left Behind
Authors:Jojo Moyes
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (2012), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes


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This was a complete departure from any of the previous books I've read by Jojo Moyes. I'm so glad I read it as it wasn't anything I thought it would be. Liv Halston is a young widow struggling with how to move forward when she is confronted with information that a wedding gift from her late husband, a painting which she values highly and finds great comfort in, may have been stolen from Nazi officers in France. We learn during a parallel storyline beginning in 1916 of Sophia Lefèvre and her beloved husband Èdouard. These woman both linked, both suffer loss, both face making hard decisions in extreme stress about what they will do to save those they love. What will they give up, what really matters to each, and how does society, family, and history judge those decisions. ( )
  CMDH5 | May 3, 2017 |


If you haven’t read any Historical Fiction before, but want to try it out, this would be a great book to dip your toe into the genre. Since it goes back and forth between stories, you get a contemporary storyline, along with a historical one. I thought it was the perfect dose of each.


Sophie’s story takes place in France, while Liv’s takes place in the US. If you love France and the French culture, definitely read this book. Moyes does such a great job painting the picture of a small town in France during the First World War.


If you love history and art, you’ll love this story. Art is at the center of this story. You find out about the life of this piece of art, just as if it were a person.


Both Sophie and Liv lose someone close to them. We get to experience how they move through and on from their loss. They never lose hope in love.


Sophie is such a strong-willed woman; especially for her time. She has hope until the very last second, and doesn’t give up easily. Live is a bit complicated, but that made her all the more realistic. She had conflicting feelings and struggles. She too was stubborn, and fought hard for what she wanted.

Originally posted on Books for the Living. ( )
  BooksForTheLiving | Mar 20, 2017 |
These kinds of books can be so disappointing...

So glad this one wasn't one of them. The pacing was beautiful. The structure was delightful. And the big reveal at the end really was a surprise.

Nicely done. ( )
  ChayaLovesToRead | Feb 28, 2017 |
This book employs dual protagonists set during two different time periods. There's Sophie, who lives in a small French village occupied by the Germans during WWI, and the current day story of Liv, who is struggling after the unexpected death of her husband. The two women are connected by a painting of Sophie done by her artist husband before he went off to war. The painting was bought for Liv by her husband on their honeymoon.

Sophie's story started off compelling but ended up being a rather superficial story with no depth or nuance to the characters. Unfortunately, Liv's story was less interesting and focused mostly on a legal battle to keep the painting instead of returning it to the family (making her look even more shallow).

The book had a chick-lit feel to it rather than historical fiction, a number of key points depended on unlikely and unrealistic coincidences, and it failed to keep my interest.

Sophie's story had the most potential and for a much better book that dealt with the tough choices citizens often make to survive during wartime I recommend Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
I'm a little blank with my review for this book. I really liked it, the modern tale was wonderful but in the past few years I have so tired of the time span between the two world wars. I find myself passing books up specifically because of this and I'm afraid of missing out on a good read in doing so. Anyway, I love Jojo Moyes and her writings, the subject she went with is so controversial now, makes me look at it from all angles. ( )
  mchwest | Jan 22, 2017 |
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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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