Thank you to Net Galley and Penguin Group/Viking for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
In 1916 French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to fight at the Front. When her town falls into German hands, his portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything - her family, reputation and life - in the hope of seeing her true love one last time.
Nearly a century later and Sophie's portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting's dark and passion-torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened...
In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for the thing they love most - whatever the cost.
This insomniac's opinion:
Friends, I have a confession: I have a crush. A raging, out-of-control crush. On Jojo Moyes. *sigh* Am I the only reader that gets author crushes?
Anyway, back to the review. This novel is done in dual narration. My issue with dual narration, specifically dual time frame narration, is that the reader generally connects with one narrator far more than the other(it is always the older story for me, somehow). That was not the case for me with this novel, as least until the end where I was quite ready for Liv's story to resolve. I was equally fascinated by the journeys of Sophie and Liv. The narration of each was distinct and the stories were moving. Ms. Moyes manages to write about romance in a way that is not cheesy or terribly unbelievable. I found this to be a delightful read.
Worth staying up all night to read?
I vacillated between 4 and 5 stars for this novel. In the end, I concluded that if I had to think too much about it, it is not a 5 star read- but, dang, this one came close! 4 stars- lovely, lovely stars!