22 November 2012

Book Ramble/Review - 'The Girl You Left Behind'

{I really love the front cover - the way that the words Girl You are in red leaving the words
The Left Behind in black. It's as there are two titles - The Girl You Left Behind  and a symbolic title
of The Left Behind. A tribute for all of those that were left behind during the War}

I spotted The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes in a column of a magazine - as a book recommendation. I'm a massive bookworm so I'm always adding books to my to-read list. After finishing Life of Pi I decided to grab this book and I'm so glad I did. 

The Girl You Left Behind is a narrative story that is split between two times, 1916 and 2006. The main focus of the story of a painting and the characters and circumstances surrounding the painting. Although this is a story about a painting it also is a story of love, war, grief and bravery.

In 1916 the story begins with a young woman named Sophie, and her family, living in a small French town which has become occupied by the Germans in WW1. Sophie has been left behind by her husband, Edouard who has gone to fight at the Front. Edouard is an artist who painted Sophie's portrait some time before the war began. The painting hangs proudly in her home but manages to draw the attention of the Kommandant in the village in which she lives. 

In 2006 the same portrait now belongs to a lady named Liv who treasures it. Due to circumstances the history of the painting and the girl within it, is revealed. The story weaves between both 1916 and 2006 and eventually merges both Sophie and Liv's lives together through the portrait.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Girl You Left Behind. I found it was a gripping, interesting story which I fell in love with. Jojo Moyes is a great story teller, the story is at the perfect pace - it isn't too slow or lacking in detail. The book began in 1916 and I was quickly immersed in to Sophie's story so when I got to the chapter saying 2006 I found myself thinking that I wanted to get back to reading Sophie's story, and was worried I wouldn't be as interested in Liv's story. I was wrong. I think that's a skill right there, being able to weave between two timelines and make a reader be interested in both stories. I think The Girl You Left Behind is well written and captivating. I also found this read to be quite touching and at times heart-breaking but at the same time a really beautiful, heartfelt story. I really recommend this book. I will definitely be on the lookout for other books by this author, as I seriously enjoyed The Girl You Left Behind and Moye's writing style.

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