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The Girl You Left Behind

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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  34,259 ratings  ·  3,805 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, 516 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by Penguin (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stacia (the 2010 club)
Oct 19, 2012 Stacia (the 2010 club) rated it 3 of 5 stars
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 eve...more
Zarina
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
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
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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
Tania
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
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
Karen
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
Britany
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
Teresa
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
Patrice Hoffman
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
Jen
Wow...just...not enough stars for this. <3

Thank you Pamela Dorman Books/Penguin and Netgalley for these eARC's.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm rarely at a loss for words but that's exactly how this story, which began in the prequel novella, has left me. Trying to put my thoughts/feelings/emotions into coherent sentences is quite a challenging task especially when the tears just.won't.stop. I read Jojo Moyes' ME BEFORE YOU and loved it, so when this one was recommended to me, I pounced and have...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
Connie
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
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
Natalie
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
Nancy
My new historical fiction interest is WWI.

The book begins in a small village in France that is currently occupied by the German army. All communications have been severed and the story features Sophie, the middle child of three (older sister, Helene and Aurelian, teenage brother). A new Kommandant has arrived. He is more intelligent than the former Kommandant who was brutal and cruel without reason. This Kommandant seems to possess more humanity and perhaps some compassion. Both Sophie and Hele...more
Jamise
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.
Buggy
Wow, what a brilliant book, another near 5 star read from JoJo Moyes, damn can this woman ever drop me into her stories.

I loved, loved, loved the first part of this book which takes place in 1916 German occupied France (an apparently largely unrecorded corner of First World War history) I mean I was right there with our heroine Sophie and her family at their hotel La Coq Rouge. I could hear the German soldier’s boots marching by on the cobbled streets, I was anguished by the decisions she was fo...more
Nikki
1.5 stars

When I began this book I felt as though it had a lot of the factors that appeal to me, namely a historical setting in WWI. But I was quickly turned off by the characters and the writing style. I could not come to feel anything for the WWI setting, I felt no concern for the characters and while the author effectively described the setting, that special something that makes it truly come alive was missing. I also felt as though Sophie's moral inconsistencies (as far as I am concerned) wer...more
Dale Harcombe
The story tells of two women and one amazing painting. The painting is done by Edouard Lefevre of his wife Sophie. In 1916 Edouard goes to fight at the Front, leaving Sophie behind. Their town falls into German hands. In the hope of seeing Edouard again, Sophie is faced with a choice that will change her life forever as well as the way others react to her. She is left to live with the consequences of her decision. Whether you agree with the choice Sophie makes or not the author makes the reader...more
Erika Robuck
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
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
Anna
Rating: 4.5 stars

I loved this, a dual-timeline set partly in occupied France during WW1 and partly in present-day England.

Edouard paints an enigmatic portrait of his beloved wife Sophie, and when he gets sent to the frontline, Sophie names it The Girl You Left Behind - it becomes her talisman, her desperate hope that one day they will be reunited. As the war sets in and her village falls into the hands of the Germans, the new Kommandant takes an interest in first the painting and then Sophie he...more
Marg
I really love split time narrative novels when they are done well, and this book certainly qualifies as one of those!

The Girl You Left Behind starts in occupied France during World War I. The main female character, Sophie Lefevre, has withdrawn to a small village with her younger brother, her sister Sophie and Sophie's children to run the local hotel. Their men have gone off to war to fight the German army, leaving their families in what they hope are safe surrounds.

Sophie's husband is a talente...more
Hildy (The Book Boss)
I was so excited to read this since I read Me Before You and I LOVED it. I didn't know what this was about, other than I was guessing that a girl was going to be left behind at some point. ;) I was glad I didn't read the summary because everything was a surprise and I had a few WHAT?! moments because of that. Awesome. I will tell you that it is mainly set in France during World War 1. That's all I'm saying.

This book came highly recommended by Marina and Tracey. They were freaking OUT over how go...more
Marialyce
Really like so much about this book! The premise, the characters, the ending was just great. I liked the fact that the story went back and forth in time and that is was always a smooth transition often missing in so many other novels. The main character, Sophie and her husband Eduoard being contrasted with Liv Halston and Paul McCafferty is a touch of magic which carries this book along to its great conclusion.

Both females characters are strong women, women who dare to buck the times and stand s...more
Carol
Sophie's moving story begins in 1916 occupied France, but converts quite suddenly to present day with Liv's story and the investigation into what really happened to The Girl You Left Behind almost a century later. At first, I was disappointed in the abrupt switch, but quickly became enthralled with Liv and Paul and the mystery behind the captivating portrait. Another JoJo Moyes novel I could not put down and savored till the end.
Tempo de Ler
Mais do que a história de um quadro, O Olhar de Sophie é a história de uma família, dos seus segredos e transgressões.
Em 1916 a França é ocupada pelos alemães; Sophie vê o marido, Édouard Lefèvre, um pintor impressionista da Académie Matisse, partir para combater na Frente deixando-a com os irmãos a lutar para sobreviver numa vila racionada e brutalizada, devastada e isolada do resto do país. Sophie é obrigada deixar o inimigo entrar na sua própria casa quando fica responsabilizada por alimentar...more
Paulo Pires
« É o segundo livro da autora que leio. O primeiro "Viver Depois de Ti", que achei «Um romance humano, tocante e comovente … IMPERDÍVEL.»

Mas este livro ..., este livro, na minha modesta opinião, suplantou todas as expectativas, galgou, impetuoso as parcas referências que aspiram a "definir" o que é um bom romance. Soberbo.

Reconheço a Jojo Moyes uma qualidade literária distinta e eloquente. Possuidora de uma escrita simples, “limpa”, perceptível e bem estruturada.

Todos os elementos estão no síti...more
Laura Smith
Having loved "Me Before You" I didn't have to think too hard before buying Jojo Moyes new novel. A week before it's release I read the prequel novella "Honeymoon In Paris" which introduced the characters really nicely but it isn't essential as the book stands up on it's own without the additional novella material.

The story of Liv whose husband David passed away four years before, fracturing her world is heartbreaking. She meets an ex cop Paul who seems to offer a new relationship but just as the...more
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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...
Me Before You The Last Letter from Your Lover One Plus One The Ship of Brides Silver Bay

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