“The Girl You Left Behind” is a novel written by Jojo Moyes. Published in 2012, the book is a historical and contemporary fiction novel that weaves together two interconnected stories set in different time periods.
The novel is divided into two parts:
Historical Story: The first part of the novel is set during World War I and follows the story of Sophie Lefèvre, a young woman living in a small French village occupied by German forces. Sophie’s husband is away fighting in the war, and she struggles to keep her family’s hotel running. When the German Kommandant takes an interest in a painting of Sophie done by her husband, their lives become intertwined in unexpected ways.
Contemporary Story: The second part of the novel is set in the present day and focuses on Liv Halston, a widow who owns a painting titled “The Girl You Left Behind.” Liv is facing a legal battle over the painting’s ownership, as the descendants of Sophie Lefèvre claim that it was stolen during the war. As Liv fights to keep the painting, she uncovers the history behind it and becomes determined to uncover the truth.
“The Girl You Left Behind” explores themes of love, loss, art, and the impact of war on individuals and their families. The novel delves into the connections between past and present, as well as the moral dilemmas faced by characters caught in difficult circumstances.
Jojo Moyes’ writing is known for its emotional depth and its ability to create complex, relatable characters. In “The Girl You Left Behind,” she skillfully alternates between the two timelines, weaving together a rich narrative that explores the power of art and love to transcend time and adversity.
If you enjoy historical fiction with a contemporary twist, themes of resilience, and stories that intertwine across generations, “The Girl You Left Behind” might be a compelling read for you.