Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Girl You Left Behind review

Jojo Moyes has now reached "favorite author" status for me. After how hard I fell for Me Before You, I had high expectations going into this book, but I loved it just as much, if not more. 

We're introduced to Sophie LeFevre, a hardened woman running the family hotel with her sister after both their husbands went off to war. It's 1916 and the people in Sophie's small town are starving, stuck under the thumb of the Germans after their invasion. During a search of their home, the Kommandant takes an interest in a painting Sophie's husband created of her, stirring up a whirlwind of trouble for everyone involved. 

Over a century later, that very painting is hanging on Liv's wall, a honeymoon gift from her husband who recently died. Liv is still paralyzed by grief after losing David and doesn't realized how attached she is to the painting until her possession of it is threatened. A court battle over the portrait of a woman Liv has never met becomes an obsession and Liv is forced to deal with the possibility at losing another chance at happiness because of it. 

I was absolutely hooked from the very first chapter of this novel. Moyes does such a great job at grabbing the reader and making them need to know more about the characters -- so much so, that I wanted to both speed through the book to get to the end and savor it to make it last. 

I'm a huge historical fiction fan and was completely satisfied with how the author handled that portion of the story. It was my favorite part. The details in both setting and emotion were fantastic and the power the German occupation had over life was easily understood. I loved it! 

Now I must find time to fit in her backlist.

Stay tuned! Tomorrow I might just be giving away a copy of something by Jojo Moyes! Sneaky, sneaky. 

Thank you to Penguin for the review copy. 

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