The Girl You Left Behind
By: Jo Jo Moyes
Reviewer Rating: Four out of Five Stars
Best for: 18 and up
WWI history, romance, and mystery!
Guest review by Catina Haverlock
It’s World War One France and Sophie Lefevre and her sister Helene have but one goal – keeping their family safe until the war ends and their husbands hopefully return alive. When the Germans requisition Sophie’s family hotel as their new eating establishment and insist that Sophie and Helene cook nightly dinners for them, the German commander develops an obsession for Sophie the minute he lays eyes on her portrait, which was painted by her beloved husband, Eduard. Nearly one hundred years later, we meet Liv Halvston – and learn that Sophie’s portrait now hangs on her wall – a cherished wedding gift from her newlywed husband who passed away unexpectedly four years prior. The book takes us between France 1912 and London current day, as the mystery around Sophie’s portrait and her fate are revealed.
Moyes writing is hard to beat. She’s an artful storyteller whose characters became so real to me that I thought about them and dreamed about them. She does a fantastic job of introducing complex characters in her story that you will feel strongly about, without overwhelming the reader with a large cast. Her panache for setting up stimulating settings is also pretty amazing. The mystery drug a bit for me, but I’ve found I have that same impatience with other stories that contain a mystery, so perhaps that’s just me. Jo Jo Moyes BROKE my heart in her book Me Before You and I was certain she would do it again with this story. I won’t say either way because I don’t want to spoil it.
Two pretty strong sex scenes, one attempted sexual assault, several F-bombs and lots of God and Christ being used as swear words.
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