Monday, October 7, 2013

The Girl You Left Behind - Book Review

Synopsis from book cover :

“France, 1916: Artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his young wife, Sophie, to fight at the front. When their small town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War I, Edouard’s portrait of Sophie draws the eye of the new Kommandant. As the officers dangerous obsession deepens, Sophie will risk everything—her family, her reputation, and her life—to see her husband again.

Almost a century later, Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv Halston by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. A chance encounter reveals the paintings true worth, and a battle begins for who its legitimate owner is—putting Liv’s belief in what is right to the ultimate test..."

My thoughts :

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. Immediately following the reading of a book I found dull, this novel was a welcome read. The reader just doesn't have to work hard to enjoy the story. The style is comfortable and easy, making the novel a joy to snuggle with on the chilly and snowy days we had last week.

With any novel using the popular split narrative device, one section often becomes stronger. In this case, I was more intrigued by the carefully plotted and interesting story of Sophie. The historical aspects of the occupation during World War I were engrossing. I cared deeply about Sophie and the decisions that she had to make in a world that had ceased to be black and white.

Liv's story didn't resonate as strongly with me, initially. I didn't fully appreciate or understand her determination to keep the painting and risk losing so much in the fight. Her character does grow during the court case and of course, I was always curious to find out more of Sophie's story as Liv does her own digging into the past to uncover the truth behind the painting.

Overall, I would highly recommend The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes to my friends looking for an exciting, emotional and intriguing read. I'm anxious to find and read the other novel by Moyes.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes was published in August 2013 by Pamela Dorman Books.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes in the SheReads Selection for the month of October. Check out SheReads to enter to win a copy of The Girl You Left Behind and other novels by Jojo Moyes and then read the reviews from my fellow SheReads book reviewers.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Girl You Left Behind in exchange for my honest review. No compensation was received. All opinions are my own.**


Unknown said...

I enjoyed reading your comments. I enjoyed the book. I think the past, for some reason, usually seems more interesting than the present in stories.

Julie said...

I have read another book by her called, "me before you" I believe, and I loved it. It is a book in present day England and the main character was great as were her parents that were very English and just wanted their single daughter to find a god job and love.

DoingDewey said...

I liked Sophie's story better too :) I had a hard time putting it down towards the end, but more because I wanted to find out what had happened to Sophie than because I cared about Liz's fight for the painting.