The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes

JoJo Moyes latest novel is similar to her other book, The Last Letter From Your Lover, which was part historical fiction and part modern novel. In The Girl You Left Behind, Moyes starts with the story of Sophie, a French woman living in a town that is occupied by the German army in 1916. Sophie and her sister must protect their family from the occupying force, all the while convincing the town’s residents they are not collaborating just because the enemy chooses to eat at their hotel. Sophie and her sister Helen have been alone with Helen’s children since their husbands both went to war. When Sophie’s husband, a painter, goes missing from the front, she is desperate to know his fate. Her only remembrance of him is a portrait he painted of her.
The second part of the book tells the modern story of Liv Halston, who was left a painting by her late husband. The painting’s provenance and whether Liv owns it legitimately becomes the focus of an international debate. Liv ends up in court accused of profiting from a stolen painting. Suddenly, she may lose everything she has, including the painting.
The Girl You Left Behind (the title of the painting) was a really good story, although I enjoyed the first half of the book more. The second portion did a good job of wrapping up the historical mystery, but Sophie’s story was so compelling I missed that part when it ended. There were quite a few convenient discoveries and coincidences in the modern story that stretched believability, but Moyes writes such lovely characters I was willing to overlook.

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One Response to “The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes”

  1. Heidi Says:

    I want to read this. Thanks for your review.

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