Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Girl You Left Behind” as Want to Read:
The Girl You Left Behind
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Girl You Left Behind (The Girl You Left Behind #1)

by
3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  86,540 Ratings  ·  7,206 Reviews
France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by Edouard - a dangerous obsession is born, which will ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by Penguin
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Girl You Left Behind, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Nico
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Nicki
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Diane Yannick
I'm probably done with this author. The storyline about Sophie and Eduoard during WWI kept me interested. The details and complications of the German Occupation seemed realistic and were thought provoking. The painting of Sophie deeply affected all who viewed it and I liked the way it linked the two plots. Sophie's persistent bravery in the face of harsh circumstances and pure evil was pretty darn amazing.

Here's the rub. That second modern day storyline just didn't cut it for me. Liv and Paul ne
...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Oct 19, 2012 Stacia (the 2010 club) rated it liked it
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) by: Buddy read w/Zemira
"It was never about the painting, Sophie."
And there it was, confirmation of my fate.

3.25 stars. I loved so many things about this book, especially the historical story of Sophie and her Edouard. Their legacy was worth at least 4 and a half stars. Unfortunately, I felt the modern day story of Liv and Paul to have floundered on for such a lengthy amount of time that it almost took the focus away from the girl in the painting (who was in my opinion the star of the book and the reason for why ev
...more
Aestas Book Blog
Jan 03, 2016 Aestas Book Blog rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
::: FULL REVIEW NOW POSTED ::::


So I’m going to be honest and say that I’m rather shocked that a) I read this, and b) I really liked it! This was a completely random book choice for me. Prior to yesterday, it wasn’t even on my reading radar. But when I read the blurb, I was intrigued by the dual storyline and decided to try a few pages… and then, even though on so many levels it’s just not my kind of book, I read it straight through to the very end!

It helped that another one of this author’s bo
...more
Zarina
Aug 15, 2012 Zarina rated it it was amazing
This is an astonishing novel which beautifully connects present and past in a tale of war and love.

The Girl You Left Behind has a dual time-frame narrative; the first part is seen through the eyes of a woman in occupied France in 1916, the second through one living in modern day London. I'm not generally a fan of historical literature, particularly one with a war setting, so I was slightly reluctant at the start of this novel. However, any doubts I had were washed away mere minutes after picking
...more
Jeanne
Mar 19, 2016 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeanne by: Ami
*****5 stars!*****

I'm so glad that I'm stingy with 5 star ratings so that I can save them for when I really mean it!

The Girl You Left Behind is the story of Sophie Lefevre who is living in occupied France 1916, and Liv Halston who lives in modern day London 2006. These two women are connected by a painting, a portrait of Sophie painted by her husband Edouard, called "The Girl You Left Behind". This was quite a story, and I honestly think Jojo Moyes is in a class all her own for pulling it off. S
...more
[~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥
5 stars




I wasn't planning on writing a review for this book I thought my 5 star rating spoke for itself. But its been 9 days since I read this and I can't get this book out of my head. I love JoJo's writing. This is my favourite of hers to date (out of the 4 books I have read). BTW I love the way this book ended.

Recommend for those who enjoy
World war romance/slight historical
Heartache
Some JoJo humour
2 strong heroines told from past/present
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
 photo sig_zps9b79c50d.png

It’s WWI and Sophie’s husband (painter Edouard) has left to fight in the war. Sophie moves back to her family’s hotel during his absence, which has now been occupied by the Germans. In an effort to maintain some semblance of normalcy, Sophie has kept a portrait of herself, painted by Edouard, hanging on the hotel wall and the local Kommandant has found himself drawn to it. Sophie will offer everything she has to become this woman once again for the Kommandant in hopes of reuniting with her spou
...more
Nikoleta
Apr 10, 2016 Nikoleta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Αυτό το βιβλίο μου άρεσε ανέλπιστα πολύ. Και λέω «ανέλπιστα» γιατί αυτό το είδος έχω την τάση αργά ή γρήγορα να το βαριέμαι. Το συγκεκριμένο όμως με κέρδισε από τις πρώτες του σελίδες. Όταν έπεσε το βλέμμα μου στην πρώτη του σελίδα, όταν το έπιασα για ένα απλό ξεφύλλισμα χωρίς να έχω πρόθεση να το διαβάσω... και ξεκινούσε κάπως έτσι «Έβλεπα στον ύπνο μου φαγητό. Τραγανές μπαγκέτες, την παρθενική λευκότητα της σάρκας του ψωμιού, αχνιστού ακόμα από τον φούρνο, και ώριμο τυρί, με τις άκρες του να α ...more
Jenna
After reading Moyes novella, Honeymoon in Paris, preceding this novel, I couldn't wait to see how the characters lives played out in this engaging novel and I wasn't disappointed. Part One takes place in France during the first world war...the story of Sophie and Edouard was so fascinating that I was thrown for a loop when in Part Two the characters totally changed and the time became 2006. Once I adjusted, I realized that this was also an extension from her novella and I was sucked right back i ...more
Natalie
Nov 20, 2013 Natalie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This was totally unexpected. After reading Me Before You, I was all geared up to have my emotions raked across the rocks (in a good way), and this wasn't that. It wasn't a bad story, but it's always difficult to readjust expectations.

Sophie is an artist's wife living in occupied France. On the wall of her hotel hangs a portrait of her, painted by her husband. It's daring and sexy in a way Sophie struggles to see herself and it catches the eye of the Kommandant who craves Sophie. When she discove
...more
Fenia
OMG. I have no words. perfection. Okay so i'm still crying and this review might suck but here we go.. I loved loved loved this book!!! I love all things old and historic,so reading about World War I,and France, was really such a blissful thing to do. The first war hasn't got that much publicity as much as the second world war,so it was interesting reading about it (i kept thinking of Downton Abbey xD ). The scenery,circumstances and characters were built so carefully. Sophie and Liv both were n ...more
Tania
Sep 12, 2014 Tania rated it liked it
I never knew real happiness until you.

3.5 stars. In a lot of ways this reminds me of The Storyteller. It's also a dual timeframe story with one playing of in WW1 and one in 2001. I thought the WW1 story with Sophie and Edouard was beautiful, and it touched my heart. Sophie is presented with an impossible decision and has to live with the consequences. What the author did so well in this book is to really put you in Sophie's shoes, so even if you don't agree with her decision, you're unable to ju
...more
Britany
Dec 04, 2013 Britany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mmd
Another great read by Jojo Moyes. She sure knows how to write a powerful story, all the while weaving in polarizing topics, and different topic strands & well developed characters. Most of her protagonists feel like good friends by the end of the book.

The Girl You Left Behind is actually a painting with an unresolved past. Two stories interweave telling us what happened to both women and how this single portrait of Sophie Lefevre impacted so many lives.

Sophie Lefevre, a hotel owner, ends up
...more
Cathrine ☯
Nov 27, 2015 Cathrine ☯ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75

I liked it! A big surprise as I was not a fan of Me Before You. Plenty of good reviews from friends on this one so I’ll just add my thumbs up. It was in my OverDrive hold queue for many months and I had forgotten about it. I just love it when these long light-weight holds come in at just the right time. Just perfect for the last few days of reading. Rather than being annoyed at 2 different story lines 100 years apart, I enjoyed both of them and ended up feeling like I got a twofer. No wine
...more
Patrice Hoffman
Aug 20, 2013 Patrice Hoffman rated it really liked it
This being the second book I've read by Jojo Moyes, The Girl You Left Behind was given high hopes. Thankfully Moyes did not disappoint with her latest. Many who have read and loved Me Before You will expect The Girl You Left Behind to blow them away equally. Let me begin by saying that will not be the case here. Yes The Girl You Left Behind is a great read, but it's not the tear-jerker that is Me Before You.

The Girl You Left Behind begins in St. Peronne, during October of 1916. Those familiar w
...more
Karen
Jul 24, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Although I am still working my way through her back catalogue, I’ve loved this author’s books and was thrilled to receive an advance copy of her latest one.

One of my favourite genres is the dual time story – when it’s done well. I am pleased to say that Ms Moyes has covered this extremely well. I was immediately drawn in to the lives of Sophie Lefevre and her family when the story started in 1916. I had to keep reminding myself that this was set during WW1 as it was so easy to think the story wa
...more
helen the bookowl
Mar 09, 2015 helen the bookowl rated it really liked it
Once again, Jojo Moyes has written an amazing book that entwines two lives, two eras and that went straight to my heart. From the very first page, I was captivated and I quickly fell in love with the main character, Sophie. I love how Jojo Moyes allows for the reader to follow Sophie and her story for about 1/3 of the book before we move on to modern time and to Liv.
As I said, this book deals with two time periods and it does so beautifully. We get to know the two main characters thoroughly, an
...more
Ksenia
5+++ Stars

"All that really matters is who you love."

I finished this book a while ago. Life went on; I started reading other books, but The Girl You Left Behind doesn’t want to let me go. It lingers and I have flashbacks to some scenes or phrases from the book. It’s so wonderful! It was a long time since a book made such a lasting impression on me.

The Girl You Left Behind is two stories in one. The first story set in France, 1916. Sophie lives in a small town under occupation. Her husband Edouard
...more
Teresa
Jul 17, 2012 Teresa rated it really liked it
Hot on the heels of her hit novel Me Before You, Jojo Moyes, twice winner of the RNA Novel of the Year Award , has struck gold again with The Girl You Left Behind. Those familiar with her back catalogue will already know what a diverse author she is, every novel is different from its predecessor – her latest offering has a dual time-frame narrative (my favourite!) an ideal vehicle to show her versatility and skill as a consummate storyteller.

Sometimes dual narratives can be distracting, disrupti
...more
Diane S ☔
3.5 Moyes is very good at creating dilemmas and very real people who have to deal with them. In this book it is the Germans in 1916, taking over their little French town, and deciding to have Sophie cook for the Kommandant and his men. Of course she really has no choice in the matter, she is hoping to stay alive and protect her family, so that when her husband Eduard returns, they are all still alive. How much would one do to keep their family safe, to protect them and hopefully save them. That ...more
Carol Brill
Aug 03, 2016 Carol Brill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5
A good easy-read, combining suspense and romance. The Girl You Left Behind is told from two different women's point of view from different points in time. The two women and their stories are linked by a portrait of a women with a mysterious provenance.
In 1916, Sophie LeFevre is a young French woman, madly in love with her
husband, who is off at war. She lives in a small French village that is
occupied by the Germans. The new Kommandant in charge of the town decides
his troops will be fed each
...more
Connie
Jan 07, 2015 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jo Jo Moyes may now be one of my favorite new authors. I had read "Me Before You" and was so pleased that "The Girl You Left Behind" (though totally different) was just as mesmerizing for me and left me thinking. The writing is easy and the characters came to life for me. Told from the perspective of two women living 100 years apart and never meeting they are brought together by a painting that disappeared during the war and reappears years later unable to tell its story.

I loved Sophie, living
...more
Erika Robuck
Aug 20, 2013 Erika Robuck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
370 pages devoured in three days. That is my review of THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND in its simplest expression.

Truly, this dual period novel is one of the best I’ve read in this form in a long time. The tension in both the past and the present is often unbearable, and the characters are unique, flawed, and intensely likable. The stories are full of connections and surprises, and the weight of what is left unsaid brings tremendous power to the narrative.

The opening scene in occupied France during the
...more
Jennifer Lane
The Mystery Behind a Painting

JoJo Moyes's masterpiece Me Before You is one of my all-time favorite reads, so I was excited to try another of her novels. While this story didn't touch me as deeply, it was still an interesting page-turner.

Do you enjoy novels alternating from the past to the present? The Girl You Left Behind starts in 1917 France, in a town German soldiers have occupied for World War I, then fast forwards to 2006 England.

Sophie Lefevre is a young married woman who tries to keep the
...more
Angigames
Nov 30, 2015 Angigames rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dopo “Io Prima di Te” dalla Moyes mi aspettavo la perfezione, anzi la pretendevo quasi… e questa uscita era stata guardata da me con sospetto… non mi convinceva, sembrava la solita storia d’amore romantico ostacolato da tutto e tutti. Beh, mi sono sbagliata! La Moyes mi ha di nuovo conquistata e con questo libro ha dimostrato il suo talento!
Narrazione fluida, particolareggiata, precisa, altamente coinvolgente. Mentre però, Sophie è una protagonista vera, palpabile, che compie scelte non sempre g
...more
Jamise
Jan 06, 2016 Jamise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
Powerful story of struggle, defeat, love & triumph. Jojo Moyes is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. She never disappoints and delivers a captivating story. I would actually rate this book 4.5 stars.
Ana
Sophie's story- 4 stars
Liv's story- 2 stars
Bonnie
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
A copy of The Girl You Left Behind was provided to me by Pamela Dorman Books for review purposes.
______________________________

"Once it is done, it cannot be undone."

1916
In the midst of WWI, a small French town is overtaken by the Germans and Sophie and her sister Helene are forced to make the soldiers extravagant meals every night. When the portrait of Sophie that her husband painted of her catches the attention of the Kommandant, he begins showing her a kindness not af
...more
Connie
A beautiful portrait entitled "The Girl You Left Behind" connects two engaging love stories in a historical novel full of moral ambiguities. The book opens in 1916 in a German-occupied French village. The villagers are hungry and cold, and they are not sure which of their neighbors are trustworthy. Sophie Lefevre and her sister are told to cook dinner for German soldiers in their hotel's restaurant every evening. Sophie's husband, an artist who is now a soldier in the French army, had painted he ...more
Angela M
Aug 27, 2013 Angela M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cgca-2013-14
I read The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes because I really loved her book Me Before You. While they are two completely different stories, Moyes demonstrates in both of these books her amazing story telling capabilities. In Book I of The Girl You Left Behind, Moyes tells the sad and horrific story of Sophie, her family and neighbors of a small French town and how they suffered through the German occupation during WWI. Sophie's plight for me was in some ways reminiscent of Sophie's Choice by W ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Kashmir Shawl
  • The Lavender Garden
  • I'll Be Seeing You
  • Necessary Lies
  • The Shoemaker's Wife
  • Margot
  • The Firebird (Slains, #2)
  • The Guilty One
  • The Last Camellia
  • Fast Forward
  • Letters from Skye
  • A Fall of Marigolds
  • City of Women
  • The Secret of Happy Ever After
  • A Hundred Summers
  • In Falling Snow
  • The Paris Architect
  • The Last Telegram
281810
Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

Moyes' novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.

She is mar
...more
More about Jojo Moyes...

Share This Book



“Sometimes life is a series of obstacles, a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, she realizes suddenly, it is simply a matter of blind faith.” 91 likes
“There is a whole lot more to life than winning.” 64 likes
More quotes…