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.
"just what I needed"
interesting yet not obscenely difficult to understand.
I engaged with the characters and didn't 100% see the ending coming.
"Intriguing from the start"
The narration is perfect because they use two people, most sensible and essential. The story draws you into the innermost existence of The Great War from one persons existence during the war, full of optimisation and disappointment, one cares what happens. Not a shallow novel, a solid read. Highly recommended if you are interested in any way in this subject
"A Bit Slow"
I struggled to finish this book but stuck with it in short bursts as I did want to know how it ended. The last few chapters did pick up the pace and the ending tidied everything up. Not a book I could read again.
Heart wrenching to think about the things that happened in the war. Absolutely great performances from the narrators. Just a nice overall book.
"Couldn't put it down!"
What an amazing story. It made me laugh and cry. It made feel happy, sad, hopeful and joyous And when I got to the end I wished it had several more chapters to allow me to hear more of Sophie.
"Half great, half not quite so."
I agree with other reviewers that this is not one of Jojo Moyes' best books. The story about Sophie and her struggles during WWI is captivating and rings very true; I wanted to know more, and I so wanted her sufferings to pay off in the end. With the modern story of Liv and Paul - not so much. I found those two characters strangely unengaging; Liv was positively annoying at times, and I frankly didn't want her to get the painting. I persevered, but I must admit there were long sequences where my mind drifted. I don't think I'll listen to this book again.
"two different writers?"
truly enjoyable, however the two time periods, strangely seemed to have been written by two different writers .
vivid, remarkable scenes. lovely!
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