So I've finally read Jojo Moyes and now I understand what all the hype is about and I'm hooked for life!
Title: The Girl You Left Behind
Author: Jojo Moyes
Read: July 12, 2014
Summary: What happened to the girl you left behind?
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. goodreads
Review: We start this story in 1916 France. I fell in love with Sophie and her family very quickly which I think is easy to do when you see how smart, tough, and fiesty she is. When she goes toe to toe with the Kommandant in one of the first scenes, how could you not love her? I also really enjoyed a glimpse into life in France during WWI and how their little village was surviving. Just as I was getting attached to the characters, what do you know??? We jump to present day London with a completely new set of characters.
I've seen this type of story line absolutely crumble and fall on numerous occasions but Moyes did a beautiful job of connecting the character of Liv with the reader as much as she did with Sophie. If I had to chose, I couldn't pick one over the other which is a sign of great character development. In dual narratives, sometimes one of the characters gets lost which is very disappointing, but let me tell you, Moyes did not disappoint and I loved how these stories were interwoven and I cared about the outcome of each. Very well written! (Not that she requires my opinion, many better bloggers have given her this credit way before me!)
*Definitely going to explore Moyes' back catalog...