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
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A lovely story of the cases of humanity during a time of atrocities and poverty. The dilemmas of a woman wanting to do the best she can for her family potentially at the expense of her own self respect come across so well in a French village. Well worth a read.
"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.
I love jojo moyes books and this has been one of my favourites. This is easy listening although the storyline about the First World War was interesting and kept me apprehensive. I think I let out a few gasps when listening in public. I like the way the modern day story in twines with history. The book is well read- especially the French accents.
"An outstanding read"
I loved this book. The story is fantastic, the changing between past and present is done so cleverly. I fell in love with all the characters. Loved every word.
"Willing it to move along"
Seemed to drag on in parts and I found myself putting the audiospeed up to get through parts of it more quickly. There was a reasonable story in there somewhere and jojo moyes writes with emotion.
"beautifully told from start to finish..."
first time reading Jo Jo Moyes, absolutely brilliant story. can't wait to read the next!
I was a bit sceptical at first, especially with the strong French acents, but after getting to part 2, the modern section I came to regard my initial thoughts as wrong. The different acents helped the clarify which parts of the narrative were in relation to the past and which were present day.
The book is written very cleverly, in that Sophie's story is in the 1st person and Liv's in the 3rd, which gives the narrative different qualities that just add to the overall enjoyment.
I have loved listening to this book, I found myself crying and wishing that all would turn out well in the end despite the horrors and unfairness set upon the main characters. I have been so completely absorbed by this listen and cherish such pieces of literature. I now wonder if there are more by the same author.... and I hope they are just as absorbing
Yes I would, one of the best stories I've heard
Everything - the story going between past and present was wonderful and very well done
Difficult to choose - some were heartbreaking, others full of joy
I wept buckets over this story!
I initially found the sudden difference in tenses between part one and two (past and present) a little awkward but that soon disappeared as the story unfolded. Excellent narration on both parts.
Good story, the storyteller was fine but for voices of some of the male characters.
"Full of interest"
As always Jono M does her research well & her stories are not only captivating but informative too. I don't care much for 1st & 2nd W War stories, but the contrast between 2015 & 2006 was shown well. I found the way the author decided to split up the stories of the two eras, then blend them together was awkward. I can't think of a proper adjective to describe what I mean but for me the whole package/ narrative did not sit well; hence the 4 star rating.
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