Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Review: The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes

The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: September 27th 2012.
My rating: 5 stars.  


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.

I first met these set of characters when I read a mini story from them in Paris For One and other stories and honestly all I wanted was more from them straight away. Thank goodness when Ksenia told me that they had their own full story in The Girl You Left Behind. Whereas I did find myself more absorbed by Liv’s side of things in Honeymoon in Paris, things couldn’t have been more different with this book. I loved Sophie’s part of the story, only a handful of historical fiction stories have swept me away with their wonderful story building and I’m pleased to say that this was exactly the case here when we were given Sophie’s story in 1916. Sophie was such a tough character, with the war going on and the Germans occupying her town, she still held her own, people were quick to talk and make judgements, but I fully back the decisions that Sophie made, some may say that she put her trust too much in people, but really throughout it I wanted Sophie to get her happy ending what she rightly deserved. At times I honestly felt like this wasn’t going to happen, with everything stacking up against her and with the sprinkling of her story that we were given throughout the book. I’m not going to say how things did end for Sophie, but her story was one which utterly moved me, she was a resilient character that easily won over my heart.

In Honeymoon in Paris I was utterly baffled, as I’d assumed that Liv and Sophie’s stories were completely separate. But once I understood, I loved how Moyes had weaved them together. In The Girl You Left Behind Moyes goes into more depth about the connection between Sophie and Liv. And because Liv and Sophie had been through so much, (right at the beginning when we met Liv, I felt like I’d been sucker-punched in the stomach). Their stories were really hard to take in at times, so many times I’d believed that things would be going right for them, but only or something else to come and put a dampener in their plans. My heart truly went out to Liv, she really did have it all to deal with, but I loved her perseverance or fighting for what she believed in despite nearly everyone going against her and the likelihood of her losing everything she had in the process. I also adored the support she found along the way in the most unexpected of places. The relationship that emerged in this story although tinged with sadness, hope, reluctance and a lot of trust issues, I just knew in my heart that it had a way of working itself out.

Liv and Sophie’s stories couldn’t have been anymore different, but the way Moyes linked the stories together was majestically done. The Girl You Left Behind was just a story that was beautifully written, it really was a story full with a lot of heartache, and I did find myself nearly a sobbing mess at times. But it’s a story that really resonated with me and one which I won’t forget for a long time. 



15 comments:

  1. That's awesome that this was such a good book for you, Jasprit. I'm very curious about the setting and characters here. It does sound heartbreaking but I find those books to be the most memorable usually.
    Wonderful review, Jasprit! :)

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  2. I loved this one too! I wasn't sold in the short story but the book was amazing and I definitely sobbed too!! Great review!

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  3. Gasps! I need to read her collection of short stories now, too. I read this when it first came out and love, love, loved it. So glad you did too, Jas. I just knew you would!

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  4. I enjoyed this one when I read it :)

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  5. This book was such a heartbreak but I loved the dual storylines. I didn't know there was a mini-related story in Paris For One! Definitely need to pick that up now. Great review. :)

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  6. I'm glad you enjoyed this one - and got more of the story than what it was in Paris for One!

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  7. It is so strange that the U.S. Copy of Paris For One was different. This story was not in the copy I read. I will have to see if I can get both of these because I have loved the Moyes I have read, except for After You.

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  8. I still haven't gotten around to reading this one. I own it now, but I have had to keep up with all of my ARCs so I haven't had the time to pick it up. I've read Me Before You and One Plus One and really enjoyed them both so I'm excited about this one too. Great review!

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  9. I haven't read this yet but this is an author who does magical stuff with her stories. Thanks for the post.

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  10. I havent read her books before, she seems like a very emotional writer and it scares me heh but it's awesome how much you are enjoying her writing. Your review and the depth of the characters have def left me curious.

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  11. I've been trying to figure out which Moyes book I want to try next. My library has them all so I may just do a binge read. Great review!

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  12. I haven't read a lot of this author beyond Me Before You but this sounds like an incredible historical fiction story. I'll definitely have to check this one out! Wonderful review, Jasprit!!

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  13. I’m so happy to hear you loved this book too, Jasprit! I absolutely agree with everything you’ve wrote. This is such a beautiful and heartbreaking story. Amazing review!

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  14. This sounds like a great read and Sophie (and Liv too actually) sounds like a really interesting character. And it sounds like Moyes wove their stories together in a convincing way. I've heard a lot of good things about this author.

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  15. I have to read this one as well.. I ended up buying so many Moyes books after Me Before You :)
    Great review, thanks for sharing.
    Have a fantastic Friday and happy reading.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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