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.
I loved the characters Sophie and Liv and how invested I quickly became in their lives
The ending was so dramatic. I was literally holding my breath.
I had listened to the first Jo Jo Moyes and loved it-not sure if same performer, but really enjoyed the performances of these readers.
It did have very sad parts but,also, some very witty dialogue. I really felt like I knew the characters and really cared what happened to them.
I've only read 2 by Jo Jo Moyes, but plan to explore her other books soon
Do yourself a favor and listen to the sample before buying. I gave it an hour or so but missed so much of the story that it just wasn't worth the aggravation.
I enjoyed this book for its original story. It was enjoyable having the story not give away the history all at once, so you were still curious and captivated at the end. I liked the lesson of faith and belief in oneself, while simultaneously teaching that humans often pick the hard way for spite due to the inability to see beyond oneself. I'd recommend this book to others to enjoy.
Note: if anyone at Audible ever reads this, please adjust the volume of the first story. The French-accented reader has her various voices *screaming* into the microphone, while the narrative portions were heavily accented and at a soft whisper. I'd turn the volume up to hear the storyline only to have the volume jump to screech out lines in someone else's perspective. It was painful and distracted from the story.
[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.
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!
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!
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
The book cover fooled me into expecting a more light weight romantic historical fiction. What I found was a heartbreaking portrait of World War 1 occupation, the complex issues of stolen war property, and the solace that a single portrait provided to two women grieving the loss of their husbands 100 years apart. Told in parallel time lines are the stories of Sophie LeFevre, the subject of the painting by her husband, Edouard, now gone to war, and the current story of Liv Halston, the current owner who received the portrait as a wedding present from her husband, now dead. To both women the portrait is far more than an object – it is the only tangible connection to their husbands whose absence breaks their hearts. Both women must make hard decisions about what they value most and why. Repeated more than once is the line “once it is done, it cannot be undone.”
The characters in both timelines are finely drawn, showing the strength, fear, humor and love all of the characters bring to their relationships. Even the Kommandant is more than just a cardboard villain. The dilemma of ownership of the picture is laid out with balance so that both sides are understandable. The narration was good, although the French reader tended to get overly dramatic with some of her characters. The only weakness was how the ending was written, but I won’t comment further to avoid giving too much away. The story was strong enough to hold my undivided attention over the two days it took to listen, and Sophie in particular has become a literary character I will hold onto for a while.
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