Book Review: The Girl You Left Behind

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

The blurb: 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.

My review: Jojo Moyes has done it again. I didn’t think she’d be able to best Me Before You but I think she has, if it’s possible, I enjoyed this book even more! The beginning of the book threw me, I wasn’t expecting it to be set in the past but it turned out so beautifully that by the end, those were the sections of the book I enjoyed the most. If anything I would like to have spent more time with Sophie and her French village during the occupation. It was an angle I hadn’t seen in fiction before and a welcome, unique touch.

But bringing it back to the present was a way to ground the story and capture readers, it’s an interesting debate about looted art and really made me think and question about whether we own our treasures or whether they merely reside with us on loan from the universe!

All the female characters in this are strong, independent and to be admired and that’s really one thing I admire so much about Moyes books, Liv, Sophie and Mo aren’t capering about like comedy damsels but have real problems, very real if you count the Nazi’s, and have emotions that are not to be taken lightly. I’m so pleased Moyes books have the recognition and the readership they deserve, everyone should read this book!

I have been spoilt for good books lately, a masterful:

9.5 stars out of 10! *********.5

BUY ME! The Girl You Left Behind

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