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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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3814528,100 (4)12
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

2013 (9) 2014 (4) Adult Fiction (2) architecture (3) art (22) chick lit (4) ebook (9) England (4) family (3) fiction (42) France (23) Germany (4) grief (6) historical (9) historical fiction (26) historical romance (2) history (2) Kindle (7) London (8) love (5) marriage (5) painting (7) read (3) read in 2013 (7) romance (15) to-read (29) war (4) wishlist (2) WWI (31) WWII (3)

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i did not find this book to be very credible - some aspects of the WW1 story were interesting and i definitely preferred that story to the contemporary one - but i found many of the characters to be unlikable and many to be immature in their dealings with life and each other - the book was interesting enough to finish in a few sittings, but i often shook my head in wonder at the coincidences, poor choices and strange responses from many of the characters - ( )
  njinthesun | Apr 15, 2014 |
Grabbed me from the get-go! Overall a 4.5. ( )
  patsaintsfan | Apr 15, 2014 |
Grabbed me from the get-go! Overall a 4.5. ( )
  patsaintsfan | Apr 15, 2014 |
And as his hands reached the innermost part of my thighs, some treacherous part of me sparked into life, a warmth that was nothing to do with the fire. Some part of me divorced itself from my heart, and let slip its hunger for touch, for the weight of a body against my own. As his lips traced my skin, I shifted slightly, and out of nowhere a moan escaped my mouth. But the urgency of his response, the quickening of his breath on my face, quelled it as fast as it was born. My skirts were pushed up, my blouse pulled from my chest, and as I felt his mouth on my breast, I found myself turning, like some mythical figure, to stone.

Jojo Moyes The Girl You Left Behind, tells the dual struggles of Sophie, wife of French painter Edouard Lefevre, during the First World War; and Liv, a widow who lives like an impoverished princess in the glass house her late husband designed and built high atop a warehouse in modern-day London.

Sophie is courageous in the face of the German army that occupies her tiny French town, where she runs a restaurant with her timid sister and their starving children. Every day some new horror is visited upon them by the occupying army, but the greatest, the most immediate, is the never-ending hunger, which Moyes portrays with the vividness of an actual character.

In the present day story line Liv mourns her late husband, and battles the wealthy Lefevre family descendents, who want the painting of Sophie, known as The Girl You Left Behind, restored to them.

Sophie’s story is told in first person, past tense, and Liv’s in third person, present: a good call which works perfectly, lending Liv’s voice in the present an immediacy, and Sophie’s an historical feel. An avoidance of contractions makes the prose mildly stilted, at times, but despite that, the writing and word choices are very lively and entertaining. I like Moyes’ style: talented and crafty, she knows just how to manipulate the readers perceptions and feelings to best effect, and the writing is often surprising and fun. The characters have believable internal struggles; I especially liked this passage of Liv’s, for its subtle humor:


Paul does not attempt to push things further. She wonders briefly of she talks too much about David; whether somehow she has made herself off-limits. But then she thinks, almost indignantly, that David is part of who she is, and if Paul wants to be with her, well, he’ll have to accept that. She has several imaginary conversations with him and two imaginary arguments.

I’d had Moyes’ other novel, Me Before You, which I won on Goodreads, on my TBR pile for months, figuring I’d read it when I got to it. But I enjoyed this month’s She Reads selection so much that I read it right after finishing The Girl You Left Behind, and found I liked it just as much. ( )
  CynthiaRobertson | Apr 1, 2014 |
For another war story, this one was interesting. The story is told in two parts. First part during the First World war the second half in present day. After the first part, I had many unanswered questions but all were answered nicely in the second half ( )
  janismack | Mar 7, 2014 |
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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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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