The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Publication Date: August 2013
Categories: Contemporary Women, Historical
Source: She Reads

From the New York Times–bestselling 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

Jojo Moyes’s bestseller, Me Before You, catapulted her to wide critical acclaim and has struck a chord with readers everywhere. “Hopelessly and hopefully romantic” (Chicago Tribune), Moyes returns with another irresistible heartbreaker that asks, “Whatever happened to the girl you left behind?”

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 KeyThe Girl You Left Behind is a breathtaking story of love, loss, and sacrifice told with Moyes’s signature ability to capture our hearts with every turn of the page.

My Thoughts:

About Jojo

Jojo Moyes does it again. The Girl You Left Behind is another heartrending tale that moves briskly to a compelling conclusion.

The writing is twisty and vibrant. It’s the kind of story that keeps surprising you. The only thing I didn’t exactly buy into was Liv’s obsession with the painting. There didn’t seen to be a legitimate reason for her to be so gangbusters about it. It was essential to the story that she wanted to keep that piece of art but it kept snagging on my brain as unrealistic.

I found the history in this book to be fantastic. I was even quite a fan of the romantic elements. That’s not something you’ll hear very often from this reader.

Have you read The Girl You Left Behind? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

46 thoughts on “The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

  1. I'm also not a romance fan, but I'm glad you mentioned the historic element – I think that this sounds great, Jennifer. I have Sarah's Key on my kindle, and really want to read it, so I guess I will start there since I have that book. Maybe I will purchase this one too!


  2. I disagree with you because I can't stand Liv. How dare she think that a stolen painting is hers to keep? If you purchased a stolen car, you wouldn't be in trouble, but you can't keep the car. Why would Liv think she can keep the painting? It's immoral to me. Although, I did read the end, so I know what happens but that's the kind of thing that bugged me like crazy.


  3. Having read the prequel novella, I'm interested in Sophie's story but Liz not so much. Sounds like that might be true for the book as well. I'll probably still read it but maybe not rush out. 🙂


  4. I'm so tempted by this one because of the WW1 link and I STILL have a ridiculous obsession will all things WW1. But then I'm sure Moyes is my cup of tea. One day I'll try maybe…


  5. I enjoyed the historical parts but thought first part a bit too long. I understood Liv better because it's all she had left. Agree a somewhat over the top reaction. While I loved it, it's not better then Me Before You.


  6. I loved this one. It makes me happy to hear that you enjoyed the romantic elements, because you're so discerning… There were a couple times when reading this where I was like \”SERIOUSLY, LIV? Just give them the painting!!!\” Because that was a little crazy, but then I was all happy with the way things wrapped up so I stopped being a grump about it. You are twisty and vibrant… And I mean that in the best possible way!


  7. Great review! I loved this book and am looking forward to reading Me Before You soon. I agree with your point that Liv's obsession was a little hard to take. You should try The Last Letter From Your Lover- her first novel.


  8. Love hearing that the historical facts are solid and enjoyed. And not too heavy on the romance. Sounds like a really good read. Have you read The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy? Set in WWII on Guernsey, it too is a story of a soldier at war whose wife is quickly approached and pursued by a German soldier. Perhaps a bit more romance than this sounds, but a 5-star read from my perspective. You might enjoy.


  9. I'm on page 60 or so and I just love the vibrant detail. There's detail like in The Historian and then there's Jojo Moyes AWESOME, eat-it-up detail in this book. So good!


  10. Absolutely, absolutely agree with you about this one. I had a problem, too, with the obsession about the painting and I didn't entirely buy into the solution but I was willing to get over all of that because I enjoyed both of the stories so much.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s