The Girl You Left Behind

The Girl You Left Behind - Jojo Moyes

I bought this book when it came up as a Kindle Daily Deal.

 

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.

 

First thoughts: Initially I made a mistake when I was buying this book as I mixed it up with Jojo Moyes newer work, Me Before You which I had heard a lot about.

 

What I liked: I do not read a lot of historical fiction, and if I do...it's usually something based in the 60's-70's. I was surprised how much I loved the first part of the book when the focus was on Sophie. I flew through her sections of the book and would have been perfectly content on having the entire book be about Sophie.That's not to say I did not enjoy Liv's story...but I really loved Sophie.

 

What I didn't like: When the focus moved onto Liv's story it took me awhile to get my bearings. There was a lot of characters in her story and I had trouble keeping them in order, especially after getting invested in Sophie's story and the characters in that story. The very first chapter in the switch almost ruined the book for me. It was extremely confusing and I admit, I very nearly gave up. Luckily I did not and the book as a whole turned out to be one of my favorite reads. 

 

Despite my misgivings at the second part, this turned into a very solid read for me. I love discovering a new author to look out for and I'm very much looking forward to reading some of her other books, especially Me Before You. I also thought that this was a good book to start delving into historical fiction and I'm pleased to say that I am now more willing to try more in the genre.