i admittedly knew next-to-nothing about jojo moyes’ the girl you left behind when i began reading it. in truth, i’m not entirely sure i even remember purchasing it [an all-too-familiar tale when it comes to me and books, really]. i have been hearing about her novel me before you quite a lot but had not heard much about this one. regardless, i found it in my collection and decided to give it a go.
i liked the immediate premise of the book and the promise of a back-and-forth between world war i occupied france and present-day london, but it took me a little while to really get into it. i think i was expecting the back-and-forth to occur more often throughout the book, but the frequency of that only picked up about 2/3 of the way through. still, i couldn’t help but be sucked in by the story.
at the heart of this book is a painting of a young woman named sophie. in occupied france, sophie’s portrait catches the eye of a german kommandant in a small french town. in present-day london, it resides in the home of liv, a young widow whose husband bought her the painting as a wedding gift. but in the century in-between, no one is quite sure where it has been or what secrets it holds, and this provides the premise and the conflict within the book.
when the artist’s descendants demand the painting be returned to them, everyone scrambles to unearth the history of the painting. was it stolen by the germans or given away? was it somehow included in a warehouse of stolen artwork during world war ii? was it purchased legally by liv’s husband. as the layers are peeled away and more of the history is revealed, we also learn the fates of sophie and her artist husband who painted it.
i enjoyed this book because it was a fast read, but it was a little lighter than i was expecting. there were also a few occurrences that were just a little bit too coincidental, such as when two of the characters met and i was able to very quickly assume how things would play out. sometimes i like it when things aren’t tied up so neatly, but overall i found it an interesting read.
this is a good read if you’re looking for something to take on a holiday, and i am still very much looking forward to reading me before you and any other novels moyes may publish in the future.
my goodreads rating: 3 out of 5 // average rating is 3.94.
crossing off the popsugar reading list: a book by an author you’ve never read before.
next up: well, i started and already finished re-reading number the stars by lois lowry, one of my childhood favourites. that review will be coming soon.
what new reads should i add to my collection?