I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
Published by Pamela Dorman Books on August 20th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Romance
Source: the Publisher
Also by this author: Me Before You, One Plus One, Still Me
What happened to the girl you left behind?
In 1916, French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to fight at the Front. When her town falls into German hands, his portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything - her family, reputation and life - in the hope of seeing her true love one last time.
Nearly a century later and Sophie's portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting's dark and passion-torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened...
In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for the thing they love most - whatever the cost.
“Once it is done, it cannot be undone.”
In the midst of WWI, a small French town is overtaken by the Germans and Sophie and her sister Helene are forced to make the soldiers extravagant meals every night. When the portrait of Sophie that her husband painted of her catches the attention of the Kommandant, he begins showing her a kindness not afforded to any others. Sophie decides to take advantage of that kindness in hopes that she will be able to help free her husband from the ravages of the prison camp. For his help though, it will come at a steep cost.
‘Sometimes life is a series of obstacles, a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes […] it is simply a matter of blind faith.’
Liv is still grieving for the husband she lost unexpectedly 4 years prior. She meets a man that she feels she could actually move on and be happy with only to find that he’s been searching for a long lost painting that Liv’s husband gave to her while on their honeymoon. He was hired to recover the painting when the descendants came forward when she was discovered as being stolen from the family during WWI. Liv begins researching information on the girl in the portrait in hopes to uncover the truth behind it’s origins.
I’m a huge fan of dual narrative stories, especially when you have a wonderful mix of old with the new. This is perfect for fans of historical fiction and/or contemporary because you get both genres intertwined. I personally was a bigger fan of the 1916 storyline and all the aspects of WWI, plus I felt Sophie’s story was simply a better written and riveting tale. Sophie’s story was heartrending as war tales typically are. Liv’s story was equally distressing but lacked a clear understanding why she was so adamant about keeping the portrait.
I picked up this story after being thoroughly enchanted by ‘Me Before You’ however, this is a vastly different type of tale with much more focus on the historical aspects. I would recommend this read to fans of Sarah Jio and Susanna Kearsley as both typically focus on dual narratives and/or the blending of past and present.
The Girl You Left Behind is the tale of two women, both surviving trying times, joined through decades by a remarkable portrait. A portrait that brings to light what’s right and wrong and how there is oftentimes a middle ground, a grey area.
This is for my personal (ARC) copy of The Girl You Left Behind.
Open to U.S. addresses only. Sorry international followers!
Giveaway ends September 14th, 2013!
To enter use the Rafflecopter form below.
Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!