Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Why I read this book
When I read the blurb, I was intrigued by the dual story line and decided to try it. It helped that another one of this author’s books, Me Before You, is one of my all-time favorites as I managed to hugely invest in the characters.
Paris, 1916. Sophie Lefèvre must keep her family safe while her adored husband, Édouard, fights at the front. When their town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War I, Sophie is forced to serve them every evening at her hotel. From the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie’s portrait—painted by her artist husband—a dangerous obsession is born, one that will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision. Almost a century later, Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before his sudden death. After a chance encounter reveals the portrait’s true worth, a battle begins over its troubled history and Liv’s world is turned upside all over again.
The first part of the story is about Sophie, the woman in the painting called “The Girl You Left Behind”. Living in a small German-occupied French village during WWI, she does her best to survive and keep her family safe. The second part of the story, takes us to the present day and focuses on Liv, a widow who is now in possession of “The Girl You Left Behind” painting. When she invites the man she’s dating home, he sees the painting and her life is ruined. He recognizes it and files a law case for one of his clients as, unbeknownst to Liv, the painting is worth millions! The clients just wants the painting for the money but Liv doesn’t care about the money as she genuinely loves it.
Personally, I preferred the story lined based in WWI. I found the characters easy to invest in and I wanted the best for Sophie and the whole family. The story line sent in the present day didn’t grab me in the same way!
“All that counts is the truth. Without it you’re basically judging people’s daft ideas!”
Have you read this book, if so what do you think? What historical romance books do you recommend?
– Happy reading 🙂 x