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
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.
All I want to do is Love, laugh, live abundantly to Glorify Christ Jesus!
This was a very good read. The author did a good job of describing the story in detail. making the reader feel as though they were right there with the main characters. The narration is excellent. This was my first Jojo Moyes novel read, but I plan to read a lot more of her books, hoping for the same or an even better experience.
I purchased this book by the recommendation of Audible editors and was not disappointed. The story and characters are well developed and the french accent of the narrator draws you right in. I did find myself becoming a little confused trying to keep all the characters straight in part two but that is likely just me. This is my 2nd Jojo Moyes novel and have found both engaging and plausible, at least on some level.
Often when books end there is such yearning for more, and although I would have loved more, this story is complete and finishes without too many questions. Heartwarming parts and eye opening horrific parts that are important historical insights that we should all know about...
Wonderful, richly detailed story. Particularly enjoyed the parts taking place in WWI France- the narrator here gets six stars... Found the modern day part a bit cliche, the dialogue predictable and a little too "template -like." The narrator here also has a weird take on an American accent and an annoying version of a man's voice, which is the reason I didn't give five stars overall. Glad I persevered through the modern day stuff until the end as the remarkable story plays out. Would recommend.
I have enjoyed other audiobooks by this author, but found the choice to go with a bad French accent for the whole book to be extraordinarily annoying. I was listening on a road trip and had to stop after a half hour and buy another audiobook.
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.
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