Carol Brill's Reviews > The Girl You Left Behind

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
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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 night at Le Coq Rouge, the family inn inherited
and run by Sophie and her sister, Helene. By day, locals congregate at the
inn to commiserate about the German occupation. Every evening, in spite of
Sophie's attempts to protest, Sophie and Helene have no choice but to cook
and serve the German troops.
One evening, the Kommandant admires the portrait of Sophie painted by her
husband, a little known but gifted artist. The Kommandant is something of an
art aficionado and lingers during dinners to talk art with Sophie. He is
infatuated with the painting and apparently with Sophie. Desperate to save
her husband, Sophie makes a decision that could have irreversible
consequences for herself and her family.
The story jumps to the present. Liv Halston, is a young widow who now owns
the painting. A series of circumstances, raise a question about whether she
is the rightful owner. The struggle to answer that question is the book's
central plot.
A few quibbles about some of the plot twists that are a bit contrived and
too convenient, like how Liv meets Paul, gains Mo as a roommate and how Paul
coincidently represents the heirs looking for the painting. Some of the
transitions and devices like old letters used to reveal plot could be
smoother.
Overall, this is a good story with enough suspense and romance to overcome
the quibbles.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 3, 2016 – Shelved
August 3, 2016 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Jennifer (last edited Aug 04, 2016 02:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jennifer Terrific review Carol. The audio performance on this one is great!


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