The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: September 27, 2012
Genres: Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
What happened to the girl you left behind?
In 1916, French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to fight at the Front. When her town falls into German hands, his portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything – her family, reputation and life—in the hope of seeing her true love one last time.
Nearly a century later and Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting’s dark and passion-torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened…
In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for the thing they love most—whatever the cost.
5 Reasons to Read This Book
1. Perfect Mixture of Historical and Contemporary Fiction
If you haven’t read any Historical Fiction before, but want to try it out, this would be a great book to dip your toe into the genre. Since it goes back and forth between stories, you get a contemporary storyline, along with a historical one. I thought it was the perfect dose of each.
2. Cross-cultural: France and the US
Sophie’s story takes place in France, while Liv’s takes place in the US. If you love France and the French culture, definitely read this book. Moyes does such a great job painting the picture of a small town in France during the First World War.
3. Art is at the center of the story
If you love history and art, you’ll love this story. Art is at the center of this story. You find out about the life of this piece of art, just as if it were a person.
4. Love and Loss
Both Sophie and Liv lose someone close to them. We get to experience how they move through and on from their loss. They never lose hope in love.
5. Strong-willed Women
Sophie is such a strong-willed woman; especially for her time. She has hope until the very last second, and doesn’t give up easily. Live is a bit complicated, but that made her all the more realistic. She had conflicting feelings and struggles. She too was stubborn, and fought hard for what she wanted.