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 I, 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
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
Yes, I have already recommended it numerous times.
I have no books to compare this to. I really enjoyed Me Before You, also by Jo Jo Moyes and having read this, I was propelled to listen to another of her books. I am very fond of her writing style and I love the way she develops her characters.
I always find audiobooks far superior to those I "read". Some feel the complete opposite and would rather use their imaginations to imagine the characters. I personally find voices very helpful in my appreciation of the people in the books I listen to. Often, the accents give me a window into the culture in which the characters are immersed.
I found this very easy to continue to listen to. I could probably have listened all in one sitting if I'd had the time.
I will be seeking out more books by this author. Well done! The only comment I would make is that the ending was a bit predictable but I don't want to give anything away… so listen to the book!
The reader's accent was hard to understand. And her decibel range was extremely bothersome, with some parts virtually inaudible while others screeched at you so you had to turn down the volume, making the next quiet part all the more inaudible.
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
[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.
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.
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.
Wine, food and travel writer, editor, novelist.
Moyes writes subtle and compelling characters. As you'll note from the other reviews, this story takes place in two different time periods — 1917 and 2006. It's fascinating to jump back and forth between the eras and juxtapose the characters and their vastly different lives. The narrators were excellent. I have to take issue with others reviewers who have characterized Moyes work as Chick-Lit. It's just good fiction built around complex and believable characters, and as a 66-year-old male I enjoy literature that isn't stuffed into a predictable genre formula. Give me more.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content