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The Girl You Left Behind: A Novel Paperback – Jun 24 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (June 24 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014312577X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143125778
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.5 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Praise for THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND:

"Vibrant and gripping.”
People Magazine (***)

"Jojo Moyes expertly weaves a bittersweet tale in this irresistible novel, taking careful interest in the dark corners that exist within great love stories, and the trickiness of simple happy endings. A-"
Entertainment Weekly

“Moyes writes delicious plots, with characters so clearly imagined they leap off the pages in high-definition prose. . . . Clever plot turns make for a satisfying ending . . .  Moyes brings fresh strokes to this story about the power of art and love to transcend what imprisons us. Romantics looking for a story set amid the politics of plundered art couldn't do much better than The Girl You Left Behind.”
USA Today (3 1/2 stars)

"Jojo Moyes builds on her strengths in this moving and accomplished new novel. As she did in the best-selling Me Before You, she asks readers to think in fresh ways about a morally complex issue. . . . The Girl You Left Behind is strong, provocative, satisfying fiction."
The Washington Post

"'In this moving paean to daring, determination and perspicacity, Moyes keeps the reader guessing down to the last hankie."
Los Angeles Times

"Good storytelling."
New York Daily News

"In her latest heart tugger, Jojo Moyes deftly weaves the story of newlyweds in WWI France with that of a young widow in today’s London."
Parade

"Lovely and wry, Moyes’s newest is captivating and bittersweet."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Moyes (Me Before You) has created a riveting depiction of a wartime occupation that has mostly faded from memory. Liv and Sophie are so real in their faults, passion, and bravery that the reader is swept along right to the end. This one is hard to put down!"
Library Journal (starred review)

"Moyes (Me Before You, 2012) writes with such clarity that one can almost see the eponymous 100-year-old painting at the center of her wonderful new novel. . . .  an uncommonly good love story."
Booklist

About the Author

Jojo Moyes is the New York Times bestselling author of One Plus One, The Girl You Left Behind, Honeymoon in Paris, Me Before You, The Last Letter from Your Lover, The Ship of Brides, and Silver Bay. She also writes for a variety of newspapers and magazines. She lives in Essex, England.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By cj on July 23 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good read, seemingly well researched or at least believable. Not your typically linear love story. The blend of past and
present works well. The ending is a tad too cutesy, but a a feel good read nonetheless.
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Format: Hardcover
It's a wonderful feeling to find a new author whose voice reaches you....whose books draw you in emotionally and make you feel like you are talking to an interesting old friend...the kind of writer that makes you regretful when the end of the book draws near, as if you are going to be saying goodbye to someone you will never see again. I felt that way with "Me Before You", which I rated as a 5/5 star book...would have given more stars if I'd been able. I was looking forward to reading this book, but a bit nervous about it as I wasn't sure if I'd feel the same way about "The Girl you Left Behind", but I was grabbed into Sophie's life by the scruff of my neck from the first page and wanted to keep reading until the end. This wonderful book tells the story of Sophie Lefevre, a young French woman whose life has been turned upside down by WWI. Her husband, the artist Edouard has gone off to fight leaving her and her sister to run the family bar/inn in a town that has been taken over by the Germans. The German Kommandant is quite taken by a painting of Sophie that her husband painted..."The Girl You Left Behind" and pursues Sophie because of it. Sophie's life becomes unbearable due to the attentions of the German and she is labelled a collaborator by the townspeople.

Decades later, the painting surfaces in the possession of a young widow, Liv, in London. The painting is the subject of a law suit, pitting Liv, whose husband purchased the painting for her in Barcelona as a wedding gift, against the descendants of Edouard Lefevre who claim that the picture was taken illegally by the Germans and demanding that the painting be returned to them. Liv has connected with Sophie and feels that she is the rightful owner of the painting...
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Format: Kindle Edition
My Review: I read Moyes huge hit Me Before You back in January 2013 and I absolutely loved it. I actually gave it one of my rare 5/5 stars for the emotional rollercoaster that it put me on. So I went into this book very eager to read another book by this author and I will admit that the story surrounding art stolen by the Germans in WWI was the other reason that I had to pick up this book.

This book is told using two different points of view in two different eras. Sophie tells her story of living in her small French town during WWI and Liv's modern-day story is set in London with a piece of art connecting the two. I loved learning more about occupied France in WWI. Seeing the day-to-day life of these small town French people and how they had to live alongside the Germans was very poignant. It was an interesting era and there were a couple of dynamic characters, namely Sophie.

Unfortunately I cannot say that Liv's modern-day part of the story affected me in the same way as Sophie's. The only character I truly connected with in Liv's storyline was her quirky friend, Mo who was the only character who felt honest and believable. Everyone else seemed flat - especially Liv who came off as too self absorbed. I guess I just didn't 'get' Liz. Her character was one-dimensional and I couldn't whole-heartedly get behind her determination to keep the painting at all costs. The romance aspect was also a little too convenient to be believable.

I was very torn about this book and had, perhaps, overly high expectations after loving "Me Before You" so much. While the writing is good, the characters and storyline (specifically the modern-day London storyline) just didn't grab me. I found the ending too predictable with all of the loose ends tied up too neatly.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the first book by Jojo Moyes that I've read. The love story between Edouard and Sophie is touching. I preferred the historical portion of the novel the best but that's likely due to my interest in historical fiction - particularly the eras surrounding the two world wars.

That being said, the second portion of the book - written in the present - was still a compelling read and I wondered how things would work out for Liv Halston, and had me rooting for her to win.
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By evey TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 25 2015
Format: Hardcover
An Interesting story about the lives of a group of people with a connection to a painting, set against the complicated issue of repatriation of stolen wartime art. If I had any complaint, it would be that I found the transition from chapter to chapter rather abrupt - so that sometimes I had to take a minute to orient myself. Other than that? A pretty good book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved Moyes' "Me Before You", and I enjoyed this one but not as much. This has an historical turn, which adds depth, and great characters. Read this one, then read "Me Before You."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel broke my heart and stitched it back together. It was refreshing, so vivid and rich in texture. I couldn't put it down. One of the best reads in a long time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
JoJo Moyes never disappoints. When you read one, you want to read them all. Once you start reading, you don't want to put it down.
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