Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Girl You Left Behind: A Novel Paperback – June 24, 2014
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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. Also crystal clear are the emotions that protagonist Liv Halston attaches to the portrait. Gifted to Liv by her late husband, David, in celebration of their wedding, The Girl You Left Behind becomes a personal icon, embodying all that was good about their brief marriage. What is less clear is the painting’s provenance and who has the right to assert ownership. Will Liv’s notion of ownership unravel when the artist’s heirs sue to reclaim what they call ill-gotten goods, seemingly misappropriated by German soldiers during WWI? Did the artist’s wife—the subject of the portrait—give or sell it? Can anyone establish a clear trail of legitimate ownership? Does emotional attachment to a work of art have cash value? Can love ever trump greed? At its heart, such questions, thrumming in the background, add depth to what is an uncommonly good love story. --Donna Chavez --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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-"
“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
—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."
"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."
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
This book is narrated by two different women at different points in time. The first part of the novel takes place during WWI and tells the story of Sophie LeFevre, who owns and helps run a bar/cafe in a small town outside of Paris. The town has been taken over by Germans and the locals have all suffered from deprivation and oppression at the hands of their captors.
Sophie and her sister Helene are both concerned about their husbands who are French soldiers and possibly in a prison camp or worse. Sophie's husband is a talented and fairly well-known artist named Eduoard, and Sophie's most prized possession is the portrait he did of her shortly after they first met. She has it prominently displayed on the bar wall. When the German Kommandant sees the portrait, he becomes enthralled with it and with Sophie as well. What will happen to Sophie and her family and to their town if the Germans don't leave? And what will Sophie do in order to save her husband and see him again?
The story then moves to the present times and we meet Olivia (Liv) Halston, a woman who's been in a state of depression and grief since the death of her young husband 4 years earlier. Liv is struggling financially and emotionally but things seem to take a turn for the better when she becomes attracted to a man named Paul McCafferty. Paul works for an agency that tries to give priceless paintings stolen by the Nazi's back to their original owners, and when he spots Sophie's portrait in Liv's home, he feels he must take action.
I really enjoyed the WWI parts of this book, which pretty much make up the majority of the first half. I thought this part of the book was stellar and I loved reading about Sophie and the descriptions of her life and of the conditions during the occupation were vivid and educational.
My problem came when we come to the present day. As believable as I found Sophie and the decisions she had to make - I had the opposite reactions to Liv. I didn't buy into her character and found myself often annoyed rolling my eyes at her actions and thoughts. I don't necessarily have to like the characters to like a book, but I think we were supposed to like Liv and at times I just didn't. I also had trouble buying into the relationship between her and Paul.
My biggest problem, and this is without giving away any spoilers, is that I don't like books that try to wrap up all the loose ends with a bow. I thought the book could've had a stronger impact without this and I thought there were way too many coincidences and convenient twists along the way.
So this was a mixed bag for me; I loved the WWI bits but was frustrated by the present-day storyline.
The Germans have taken over the small town of St. Pèrrone in France. It is 1917. World War I. Sophie Lefèvre's beloved husband, Édouard, an artist who studied at the Academie Matisse, has been drawn to the front lines of battle. Before Édouard left, he painted a very seductive portrait of his Sophie. Forced to cook for the German soldiers in her family's hotel Le Cog Rouge, where that painting hangs, Sophie and her portrait gain the attention of Kommandant Hencken. Upon hearing that Édouard is in extreme peril, Sophie risks all to save him.
"15 January 1917
Today they took Sophie Lefèvre. Such a sight you never saw. She was minding her own business down in the cellars of Le Cog Rouge when two Germans came across the square and dragged her up the steps and hauled her out, as if she were a criminal."
It is 2006 and Olivia "Liv" Halston has been mourning the death of her husband, David, for four years. Before his death, David gifted Liv with a painting entitled "The Girl You Left Behind". While visiting Spain, David and Liv gave aid to a woman who was being forced to dispose of all of her Mother's property. This painting was to be discarded. Instead David bought the painting for Liv.
Paul McCafferty, recently divorced, works for a successful company that helps to return precious property to their rightful owners. The family of Éduourd Lefèvre, whose paintings have grown exponentially in their value in the last nearly 100 years, want their painting back~~that portrait of Sophie~~the very one that hangs on the bedroom wall at Liv Halston's home. Liv has grown so attached to that painting that she will fight with all she has, and that is very little, to keep it.
Don't stop now. There's another package to open. I love this part.
Louanne Baker is an American journalist sent to the concentration camp in Dachau in 1945 to write a story about the people held there. While there, Ms. Baker is sent instead to a storage facility that houses the stolen and looted works of art that unrightfully fell into the hands of the Nazis. Somehow, when she leaves, that very same portrait of Sophie, has gone with her.
This one painting has touched so many lives. It has ruined some. It has completed some. To whom does this painting rightfully belong?
When the stories above intertwine throughout time, the result is an amazing tale that will leave you reeling. I am simply amazed at the author's ability to see the bits and pieces of this story in her mind's eye and have it come together. Just like a painter seeing the vision of his painting and coating the layers of paint upon the canvas, Ms. Moyes has layered her stories to create a literary work of art. Brilliant. ✰✰✰✰✰