The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
More than just a romantic novel, Jojo Moyes’ The Girl You Left Behind is an adventure, a mystery, a study in history, and the story of two women whose lives are inexplicably joined by a simple painting—a portrait of a young French girl with gold-red hair wearing an expression of “satisfied self-confidence that can only come from being adored.”
The story begins in 1916 in the war-torn French village of St. Péronne, where its German occupiers force Sophie LeFèvre and her sister to use their small hotel restaurant to cook for them while their husbands are off fighting at the front. Amidst deprivation, hunger, cold, and heartache, hope exists for Sophie only in reuniting with her beloved artist husband, Édouard, and in the proof of his love personified in his only portrait of her, The Girl You Left Behind.
It is 2006 in London, and Liv Halston is still mourning the untimely death of her architect husband, David. She has escaped from the world by writing copy online while enclosing herself in the stunning glass and steel penthouse David created just for the two of them. At the same time, she takes strength from the only artwork in her home, a honeymoon gift—a portrait of a young Frenchwoman with the same poise and confident smile Liv remembers she once had in the girl she left behind.
Moyes plunges you immediately into the story, and from the very first page you will not want to put this book down. Her classic writing style, well-drawn characters, and exact right pacing combine to carry you along on a journey that is suspenseful, dramatic, and eminently satisfying. A touch of humor where you least expect it adds the perfect seasoning to this storytelling feast.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to meet Sophie and Liv in The Girl You Left Behind—two women from two very different times, both of whom believe in the power of love and the freedom that comes from searching for and ultimately discovering the truth.
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