France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre is ordered to serve the German officers who socialise in her hotel. When the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by her husband Edouard - a dangerous obsession is born. Almost a century later, Sophie's portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston. A chance encounter reveals the painting's true worth - and its troubled history that is about to resurface and turn Liv's life upside down….
©2012 Jojo Moyes (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd
I am a total audiobook addict! I travel quite a bit for work and listen to them while I drive. Always searching for a good author to follow
I loved Mo, she was an interesting character and I wish there was a little more of her
The narration was great by both ladies
Mo, she seems like a lot of fun
I found this book a little slow at the beginning, I struggled with it for maybe the first hour. But after that I really started to enjoy the story. Overall I really enjoyed it!!
"Spellbinding - I loved it"
I got drawn into this book very quickly. It was extremely well read, particularly the character of Sophie was extremly well portrayed. A brilliant storyline that starts during the 1st world war, in an occupied town in northern France. A german officer becomes obsessed with the beautiful Sophie, whose portrait hangs in the restaurant that she runs with her sister. The danger and perils and tragedy of war make for a great storyline in themselves, but abruptly (on a cliffhanger) the story changes to modern day England. The portrait has survived 100 years, and has a new owner, with an equally compelling and engaging story. There is humour and romance in the modern setting, to lighten the mood after the increasingly tense 1st world war section. Gradually the two stories are told side by side. I was intially desperate to find out what happened to Sophie and the author managed the suspense beautifully. The ending was brilliantly thought out and tied up all the loose ends. Jojo Moyes writes exceptionally engaging books that always end the way they should. In my opinion this book is better written than The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, and much more engaging. My only complaint is that I could not stop listening, and I am now extremely tired having stayed up half the night listening to get to the end on my ipod.
"Outstanding. If I could I would give this 10 stars"
Having read 'Me before You' (another must-read) I couldn't wait for the arrival of Jojo Moyes next book 'The Girl You Left Behind'. It was lovely to be able to read her prequel novella 'Honeymoon in Paris' which takes place a few years before the main story. 'The Girl you left behind' is full of romance, intrigue and is at times heartbreaking and thought provoking. It flows beautifully between the main characters, Sophie and Liv, a century between their lives, without losing the thread whatsoever.
I worry sometimes that the voice of the Narrator may let a book down but I can't think that anyone could have done a better job than these two females who made an outstanding book into an outstanding listen. Not easily done and I would think Jojo Moyes is overjoyed with the result.
I have now read/listened to all of her books and can only say she just gets better and better.
I am about to start it all over again. Thoroughly recommended. Thank you so much Jojo.
Having read 'Me before you' i couldn't wait to read another JoJo Moyes book. This is a wonderful book and I can't wait to recommend this book to my friends. Once i started listening i couldn't wait to get back to it - i looked for every excuse to plug in my earphones.
"The Girl you left behind"
I have just finished this audio book and it will stay with me foe a very long time an absorbing book played out between occupied France in 1917 and London today. I must mention the narrators who were fantastic, I will miss it.
"Past and present day entwined"
This is a story of long lost love, finding out the truth from going back in to history and standing up for what you believe in.
This book is everything that you would expect from Ms. Moyes, it is well written and with many likeable characters, a very good read. I loved how the book was split between the past and current day and how one painting connects that two together.
"Is this really Jojo Moyes?"
Not having to listen to really bad French accents- the story takes place in France, I get it. Had it been read without the daft accents, I could have imagined the scenes- it would have been much more realistic. With the accents I find I am continually wondering why Mr. Armand, Mme. Lefevre and the others are all talking to each other in English with those weird and supposedly French accents.
About to look for a replacement.
Annoyance & irritation.
"Good story marred by poor narration"
No. I never listen more than once.
No particular moments stand out, but the description of life in the occupied town was very vivid.
The narration was a real problem for me, especially the narrator reading the part of Sophie. The fake French accent was totally unnecessary; we know it is set in France, so we don't need reminding constantly. The silly voices used to depict different people were also irritating. To add insult to injury many French words were mispronounced! This also applied to many German words, and both narrators were guilty of this. These professionals should surely go to the trouble of checking how to pronounce words. So both my stars are for the narrator of Liv. I'm afraid the poor narration really spoiled my enjoyment of what is clearly a good book.
I've said it all already
"Storytelling at its best"
I just finished listening to this book after allowing it to languish in my library for far too long. I think I was worried that this might suffer in comparison to Jojo's other excellent story 'Me Before You'. I was of course completely wrong. This is a poignant story of two women left to cope with their lives after being parted from the men they love. Sophie's story set in occupied France during the First World War is is a tragic tale of a good person being set upon by an enemy who is not always obvious. The momentum of her story is maintained throughout the book and I felt almost breathless when it reached its conclusion. Liv, the modern woman, sufferers some horrible injustices and I was rooting for her right to the end. It is really clever the way the author has managed to interweave two completely different lives and despite the subject matter I left the story feeling completely uplifted.
The two narrators are brilliant and conveyed the characters convincingly. If you want to listen to something that will keep you completely enthralled for over 14 hours this is the story for you.
Before this book I listened to the Honeymoon in Paris prequel. Whilst it was not essential to this story it was a nice introduction to the main characters and gave a little bit of insight into the two main relationships.
What a little gem this one was!
The story is great, the narration is superb and I've not been able to stop listening since I started it. Amazing!
"Great in the beginning, but...."
It took me a few minutes to get used to the French accent of the narrator in the beginning, but soon the story about this woman in occupied France during the first Worl War took me and I couldn't stop listening and was so for over 5 hours and then the story changes to London in our days. First I was reluctant to leave "my" story (the connection just over a painting wans't strong enough for me) to another, even if there was no more French accent then. But after a while it was "nice" that means it was nothing as good as the first part, but it was good entertainment. I was a little reminded of books by Kinsella. That it is not meant as a bad thing, but it was just such a difference to the serious and interesting part of the beginning. Then the book good worse and worse (I think) when the parts of the stories are getting shorter, but not really interwoven, the part in our days gets more and more unbelievable (why do people in this book start to behave like 5year old children, why court room scences that are totally unbelievebal etc...) and sometimes even a little cheesy, besides that the part in France isn't as good as in the beginning. In the end I just wanted to reach the end.
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