Monday, October 07, 2013

Review: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Title: The Girl You Left Behind
Author: Jojo Moyes
Published: August 2013 Pamela Dorman Books
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Source: Publisher/She Reads

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.

My thoughts: This is the first Jojo Moyes book I've read and I was instantly pulled into her story. I was quite eager to begin reading this book after having the opportunity to meet Jojo a few weeks ago, when she was on tour for the book in the U.S. I loved listening to her and knew that I was going to enjoy this story - I just didn't know how much!

This story is told in a dual narrative - a format that I really have come to like - but it is set up a little differently than most. The book follows the stories of two women and one painting. But instead of the typical back and forth between the two throughout the whole book, Moyes gives us the story of one character, then introduces the other before intertwining the two. We start during World War I in a small, isolated French village that is occupied by the Germans and then move to London in the present day. I found this way of telling the story enhanced it, pulling me in even more.

Of course, the characters themselves pull you in, as well. These two women we come to meet, Sophie and Liv, are well-developed, strong women who make both selfless and selfish decisions as they move through difficult times in the lives. I felt that I was equally invested in both their stories and was desperate to find out what happened to each.

I have to say that I am once again very impressed with the selection the gals over at She Reads have made for this online book club. This is the 5th book selection I've read and I have loved each and every one of them and for the most part, they are all from authors I might not have picked up right away.

I already have Jojo Moyes book, Me Before You, on my bookshelf and as soon as I have time, I will be reading it. I also hope to pick up her other books and will definitely be keeping her on my radar - she is not an author to miss!



The October Book Club Selection from She Reads is The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes 
Head over to the She Reads website to read other reviews and related posts, as well as a chance to win 3 of Jojo Moyes' books.




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13 comments

  1. I just brought this book home today. I loved Me Before You.

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    1. I'm hoping to read Me Before You soon!

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  2. I must read a book by her at some time. This one sounds a little like a Susanna Kearsley book.

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    1. It's so good - definitely pick it up!

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  3. Sounds like JoJo Moyes has a new fan girl. I love finding new to me authors and loving them :)

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    1. So do I!!! And it helps when you get to meet them - makes it more personal!!!

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  4. This is on my list to read when I get some time (haha). I LOVED Me Before You but that's the only book I've read by Moyes. Can't wait to read more of hers. Glad you recommend this one!

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    1. Yeah - that what Me Before You is for me - on my shelf and hoping to get to it soon!

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  5. Great review- you should also try her book-The Last Letter From Your Lover. It was very good also.

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    1. I will definitely check that out...thanks!

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  6. I enjoyed reading your review. I've read this book and thought it was great. Me Before You was also great. The Shereads' bookclub selections are excellent.

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  7. After reading Me Before You, I knew I had to get this one...it is now on Sparky, patiently waiting until I finish more review books.

    Thanks for your thoughts...and now I really can't wait!

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  8. Jojo Moyes was a new author for me too and I agree that the SheReads book selections have been consistently awesome. I really loved this one and will definitely be reading more by the author :)

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