One of my most memorable reads from last year was Jojo Moyes’s book Me Before You. I cannot tell you how much I loved that book and as a result, I’ve been loathe to read any other books by Jojo because, really, how was she ever going to top that book? Honestly, I didn’t think it was possible.
But the bio for The Girl You Left Behind kept calling to me….
Whatever happened to the girl you left behind?
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 Edouard – a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision.
Almost a century later, and Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting’s true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv’s life upside down all over again . . .
In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for what they love most – whatever the cost.
I was fascinated by Sophie’s story, the horrors her and her family faced during the first world war, inspired but her strength and character, and was desperate to know what happened to her…. fast forward a century and I found out through Liv’s investigations into the painting, The Girl You Left Behind’s, dark past. Its a fascinating story which includes the horrors, cruelty and injustices of war and twists and turns as the plot unfolds, making me love and hate and then love again,every single character in the book, most especially the Kommandant, who I mostly hated throughout the story.
While this is in no way comparable to Me Before You, it was still an excellent read. Me Before You made me question my own opinions on the morality of human euthanasia, this book opened my eyes to the horrors of war and the injustices of it all that have far reaching effects, not just in the present, but in the future too.
A solid 4.5 star rating from me for The Girl You Left Behind.