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The Girl You Left Behind Audiobook

The Girl You Left Behind

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Mark Raglan, New Zealand 02-27-15
    Mark Raglan, New Zealand 02-27-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A proper story"

    This book received high praise in a recent Facebook conversation, so I thought I would take a punt. I hunted it down on Audible and had a listen.

    I’d have to agree with the Facebook reviewers, it is a really good, engaging story and, when life’s routines demanded that I switch it off (e.g. arriving at work) I was usually disappointed because I wanted to keep on listening.

    It’s all about a painting: The story takes place in two different settings: Occupied France during World War 1 and London in the present day. We also have two heroines (one in each era), two heroes, and a couple of villains. The eponymous painting is of our First World War heroine, Sophie. She is the owner of a hotel (Le Coq Rouge) in an occupied village in rural France. The picture had been painted before the war by her husband, Edouard, who is away fighting the Germans.

    The most senior German officer in Sophie’s town is Freidrich, a Kommandant who takes his meals at the hotel and takes a liking to Sophie and her painting.

    Then we suddenly switch to modern London to meet Olivia, whose architect husband David died unexpectedly 4 years earlier. She is still grieving his loss, and her favourite possession is the painting of Sophie, which David had bought from an American woman.

    I won’t reveal too much more of the plot, but from then on the story follows Olivia’s battle to keep the painting when a legal action is initiated by Sophie’s relatives, who claim that the picture was stolen by the Germans.

    It is very well written, with good characterisation and dialogue, and plenty of twists and turns. I think it would make a good film (incidentally, if a film was made I think it might be categorised as a ‘chick flick’). The narrators told the story very well in the sense that they played the roles convincingly, but they also made lots of mistakes and this distracted and irritated me a bit, but this is a churlish criticism of a really good listen.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl 07-26-15
    Carl 07-26-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Couldn't Understand the Reader"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    No one.


    If you’ve listened to books by Jojo Moyes before, how does this one compare?

    NA


    Would you be willing to try another one of Clare Corbett and Penny Rawlins ’s performances?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-07-13
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    "entertaining from start to finihs"
    What did you love best about The Girl You Left Behind?

    I loved the characters Sophie and Liv and how invested I quickly became in their lives


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Girl You Left Behind?

    The ending was so dramatic. I was literally holding my breath.


    Have you listened to any of Clare Corbett and Penny Rawlins ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    I've only read 2 by Jo Jo Moyes, but plan to explore her other books soon

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MMinSouthernCA 02-15-14
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    "Beautiful, entrancing story! Awful recording!"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 12-04-13
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 12-04-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Sophie's choice"

    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.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma 11-08-13
    Emma 11-08-13
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    "Wonderful, intriguing"

    The performances were exceptional, and the story was lovely. I am looking forward to her next book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl 02-14-14
    Cheryl 02-14-14 Member Since 2017
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    "Disappointment"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    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.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Clare Corbett and Penny Rawlins ?

    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.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Hintze 12-26-16
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    "Meh"

    So far story seems good but the reader not so great. The fake accent is hard to understand and the different voices awful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheri C Wylie, TX United States 12-06-16
    Sheri C Wylie, TX United States 12-06-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Unexpectedly Grim"

    I was expecting another light romance, so I was surprised by such a grim read. This story is really more about coping with loss and persevering in the face of adversity, and contains some strangely joyless and certainly uncompelling romance on the side. It was interesting enough to keep me reading until the end, although most of it was while I was a captive audience for the audio on the long drive home from my family after Thanksgiving.

    Penelope Rawlins and Clare Corbett provide a very good performance as narrators.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-27-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great story"

    I enjoyed the story but the voice of Paul was very annoying and had n chemistry with Liv. Otherwise very good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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