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The Girl You Left Behind

(The Girl You Left Behind #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  143,867 ratings  ·  10,684 reviews
Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780718157845

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 Edouar
Paperback, 544 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by Penguin
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  143,867 ratings  ·  10,684 reviews

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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
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Sep 28, 2012 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 fo
Aug 12, 2012 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
Aestas Book Blog
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Feb 25, 2015 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
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star
This is quite a borderline great book, with its talented author, and detailed characters, all making for a read never restrained by the tag 'chick lit' it carries. The story encompasses the overlapping of history and geography.

It's not unlike a Jeffrey Archer book. But while Archer can only do so much, and has recourse of deaths to drum up drama, this book can do all of that without resorting to ultimate means. Here the deaths are few and pack a mean punch to the gut when they occur.

'The Girl Yo
[~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
Some JoJo humour
2 strong heroines told from past/present
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing story!!
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 s
This feels like a particularly apt moment to say that I abandoned this book as part of my no-books-featuring-romantic-relationships-with-oppressive-sexist-gross-first-half-of-20th-century-German-enemy-soldiers-in-general policy.

Can you believe that it's 2017 and this is the third time I've had to disavow that trope this goddamn week?

Anyway. This isn't a review of twenty-first century America, so I'll move on. (But don't you kinda wish it was? Not even a little? Got it.)

After I really loved Me Be
Aug 23, 2013 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
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An outstanding narrator added extra appeal to this already excellent book. Male to female, French/German accents were very, very good. Two timelines joined together by a painting done in war time, and the struggle to find its rightful owner in the new millennium.

Historical fiction is not my genre of choice, therefore I did enjoy the latter current day story more, but as a whole, I did enjoy this novel. Jojo Moyes is an author of talent and I look forward to getting to all of her books at some st
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
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
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-borrowed
"The Girl You Left Behind" is Jojo Moyes's follow-up to "Me Before You" and packs just as much emotional punch. The book is separated into two parts, the storylines taking place almost one hundred years apart. The first involves, young Sophie, wife of French artist, Edouard Lefevre, fighting at the front lines in World War I. Sophie, her sister Helene, Helene's two young children, and their teenage brother Aurelien are living in a town under German occupation. When the newly appointed Kommandant ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Girl You Left Behind (The Girl You Left Behind #1), Jojo Moyes
Paris, World War I. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe while her adored husband, Edouard, fights at the front. When their town falls to the Germans, 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. Almost a century later in London, Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a weddi
Nov 27, 2013 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 livi
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
Cathrine ☯️

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
Helene Jeppesen
Feb 20, 2015 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
May 08, 2013 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
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
Patrice Hoffman
Mar 14, 2013 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
Angela M
Aug 20, 2013 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
This book was really exciting in the beginning.... and then a lot of slow moving information that was not very interesting. I did not like the 2nd set of characters much and their fight over the painting was boring and trivial. The narrator did AMAZING with Sophie, but my goodness, those nasally man voices were excruciating, especially Edmound.

Overall I am left at thinking this one was only ok, nothing more. A great start to a slow drawn out fizzle for me. 2 stars
Sophie's story- 4 stars
Liv's story- 2 stars
Jun 25, 2012 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
Dec 02, 2018 marked it as dnf-did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I got 80% into this book and just couldn't do it anymore. DNF. I was NOT a FAN.

Edit to say I only got 80% into this book because i was trying to push through for my book club. but i literally got almost done and couldn't even finish because it was like pulling teeth.
Connie G
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
Jess The Bookworm
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts out in France 1916, during World War I, where Sophie's husband has been called to fight, leaving her with her family while they try to stay afloat during the German occupation. Sophie is left with a memento of her husband: a painting which he did of her when they started dating. This striking painting (and Sophie) draws the eye of a German officer, which places Sophie in a dangerous position, and a life altering choice must be made if she ever stands a chance of seeing her husba ...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

Articles featuring this book

A painting connects two love stories, one in modern-day London and one in 1916 German-occupied France, in her new historical novel, The Girl You...
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“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.” 118 likes
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