From the New York Times best-selling author of Me Before You, a spellbinding love story of two women separated by a century but united in their determination to fight for what they love most
France, 1916: Artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his young wife, Sophie, to fight at the front. When their small town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War II, Edouard's portrait of Sophie draws the eye of the new Kommandant. As the officer's dangerous obsession deepens, Sophie will risk everything - her family, her reputation, and her life - to see her husband again.
Almost a century later, Sophie's portrait is given to Liv Halston by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. A chance encounter reveals the painting's true worth, and a battle begins for who its legitimate owner is - putting Liv's belief in what is right to the ultimate test.
Like Sarah Blake's The Postmistress and Tatiana de Rosnay's Sarah's Key, The Girl You Left Behind is a breathtaking story of love, loss, and sacrifice told with Moyes's signature ability to capture our hearts.
©2013 Jojo Moyes (P)2013 Penguin Audio
Say something about yourself!
I am in love with this book. The author did an amazing job of character development I felt like I knew them all personally. I was enraptured with the unfolding of the story and the internal turmoil of each character.
This is not a wasted credit.
The narrators did a beautiful job.
Poignant, hopeful, and bittersweet.
Sarah's Key in that the book flows between World War I in this case, and the present day. Both involve fascinating stories in both present and past.
I loved both narrator's as well. They really brought the story to life.
A painting is never just a painting.
One of my favorite listens of all time, just like Sarah's Key was. Loved it!
This was such an engaging story and I wish I would have read it in book form. The relationships different people form with the painting are a thread through the novel that stirs a sense of love, devastating loss and the passing of time that is truly heartfelt.
HOWEVER - the French and German accents and occasional accented wailing and shouting are almost unendurable. The voice of Edouard is so singularly unpleasant that one wonders why the story is moving in the direction it is at all. The narrator responsible for these passages has done the author a serious disservice.
But if you can get past the dreadful parts of the narration (the British and American accents are fine), it is a story that is sometimes frightening, sometimes sad and, finally, quite lovely.
[C]ourage is a prerequisite for the practice of all other virtues, otherwise one is virtuous only when virtue has no cost. ~C.S. Lewis
One of the best books I've read in a very long time. Pulled me in quickly, loved the well-drawn characters, kept me thinking and wondering till the end. Unfortunately, the audio quality is terrible. At a volume where you can understand the reader, it becomes ear-splitting when the drama picks up. I listen while running and in my car, and this was such a problem, I nearly stopped listening but for the intrigue of the actual story. I've never run into this problem with audiobooks before after many good listens. It wasn't the reader's fault, but rather the production quality.
Someone who doesn't speak French and who isn't familiar with what a French person speaking English really sounds like. I have read good reviews of this book, but I could not stand to listen to it because the narration irritated me so much I couldn't "hear" the story. Its too bad because the narrators who read Moyes' book, "Me Before You" did a nice job. I enjoyed that story and it is the primary reason I put "The Girl You Left Behind" on my queue.
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
I would have cast someone who was either a native French speaker who speaks English with a real French accent, or someone who would read in their own voice without a cliche, fake, French accent. As a fluent French speaker, myself, I could not "hear" the story for the annoying narration.
I usually inhale audio books and frequently need to order an extra three points to make sure I always have something to listen to. However, this book lost me at the start as a result of the narration. I never got through the first part. The story may be good, but I couldn't "hear" it.
I hope producers of audio books read these reviews. Narration is vital to the listener's enjoyment. It should not stand out on its own. Rather it should blend in and, frankly, be somewhat forgotten in favor of the story. Certainly there are some narrators whose unique voices are easy to pick out; George Guidall comes to mind. However, I never felt he "stole the show" in any of the books I have listened to him read. I suppose if I were not a French speaker, myself, this book would not have been as offensive to me. Perhaps it will appeal to others.
I didn't think this book could be as good as Me Before You, but I was wrong. Loved it!
Say something about yourself!
Absolutely. There were a lot of characters that came and left throughout the book, as well as fascinating plot twists. To listen again knowing the ending would definitely be worth it!
It was a beautiful love story, just like Me Before You, but couldn't have been more different than Moyes' previous book. I thought she did a great job with historical fiction. The characters faced decisions that were life-changing - nothing black and white - and she worked through them in ways that felt real and believable.
The accents are fantastic and the emotions from their performances were just wonderful.
Yes, absolutely - I would've driven cross-country just to keep listening!
If you loved Me Before You, definitely try this book. Just know going in that they're completely different. JoJo Moyes is a masterful storyteller and I will definitely be watching for her next masterpiece!
Which came first... the books or the glasses?
I have a lot of comments about a particular character in this book but I will reserve comment so I don't spoil the book for others. I definitely recommend the book. It is engrossing, particularly Part 1. Part 2 started out confusing for me... just the way the author starts... I didn't know what was what... the action just started and I didn't know who was who or what was going on. Finally I sorted everything out. Both narrators are very good. I especially liked the first narrator.
The thing about Jojo Moyes is her stories are all so very different from each other. She (I assume Jojo is a she) has quite the imagination. I love her books. I have listened to all accept one, I believe it is called 'Horse Dancer' or something like that. I plan to listen to it eventually.
12 step program please. I am addicted to Audible! I love trashy sexy books, award winning novels and everything between. Bring it!
I discovered Jojo Moyes earlier this year when I read "Me Before You." That was an instant slam dunk, it was sooo good audiobook. It was well written, the story and characters were fleshed out and it took a serious topic and gave it dimension and life. She provided a framework in which to think about the topic and while it a heavy subject, the writing was light, the images believable and the characters were likable. So, in a nutshell Jojo Moyers did it again. The Girl you Left Behind is about art restitution. Millions of prized and personal art pieces were stolen during the Nazi occupation and this is the story of one piece told through two voices - one from the past and present. Sophie is our voice from the past and the the wife of the artist. Her story is compelling and at times nerve wracking. I grew to care for her and therefore worried for her character throughout the book. Then, there is the story of Liv, the modern day "owner" of the piece, and widower. I TRULY enjoyed both stories which is something I can't often say when two voices describing two time periods are used. Just as with "Me Before You" Jojo Moyers wrote an outstanding book. She's turning into one of my favorite writers and I can't wait to listen to more. This is absolutely worth a credit.
This is one of the best audible books I've ever listened to. The story is read so convincingly that you feel you are in 1917 France. These characters and their stories are compelling and sympathetic. I thoroughly enjoyed The Girl You Left Behind.
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