book review: the girl you left behind

Title: The Girl You Left Behind

Author: JoJo Moyes

Pages: 369

Rating: 4/5

Summary: Sofie’s husband, an artist, has just left her to go to the front line in World War I, leaving her to run her family’s small in and look after her sister’s family in Northern France. While German soldiers take nearly everything from the town, she manages to keep one of her husband’s paintings of her, entitled The Girl You Left Behind, safe. Her life is soon further turned upside down when the occupying soldiers require her to cook their meals at the Inn, further alienating her from her small town. What will become of her family?

Nearly a century later, The Girl You Left Behind is one of the few things that Liv has left of her husband, and she’s quickly losing everything else. Will she lose this too?

Quote: “Sometimes life is a series of obstacles, a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, she realizes suddenly, it is simply a matter of blind faith.”

Review: I had no idea that JoJo Moyes had written anything other than Me Before You and After You, and when I found out she had several more, I was delighted! I had no idea what it was about when I started reading and I was quickly sucked into the history and vivid imagery of Northern France during WWI. I honestly wasn’t as drawn to the modern day parts, but Moyes beautifully paired the stories and connected them in an unexpected way. And while the ending was more sappy than I would have liked, it left me content.

I love the spunk and detail that Moyes adds to her characters, such as portraying Edouard as a man-bear and Sophie as petite. She brings characters to life and the entire time I was reading it I could see the story vividly.  She doesn’t write shrinking wallflowers!

Have you read The Girl You Left Behind? What did you think?


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