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September 18, 2014

The Girl You Left Behind



The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes
Fiction
2013 Pamela Dorman Books
Finished on June 15, 2014
Rating: 2/5 (Meh)




Publisher’s Blurb:

France 1916. Sophie Lefèvre must keep her family safe while her adored husband, Édouard, fights at the front. When their town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War I, she is forced to serve them every evening at her hotel. From the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie’s portrait—painted by her artist husband–a dangerous obsession is born, one that will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision.

Almost a century later, Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before his sudden death. After a chance encounter reveals the portrait’s true worth, a battle begins over its troubled history. As the layers of the painting’s shadowy past are revealed, Liv’s world is turned upside down all over again, and her belief in what’s right is put to the ultimate test.

It’s been just over a year since I finished Me Before You and I still find myself thinking about Will and Louisa and the heartbreaking dilemma they faced in JoJo Moyes’ throught-provoking love story. The novel continues to land on the New York Times Best Seller list and I continue to have great success hand selling copies to customers, young and old. The word of mouth for that novel has been amazing. Unfortunately, I can’t say I feel the same for The Girl You Left Behind. I know this talented British author has a huge fan base, but the jury’s still out as far as I’m concerned. I was tempted on more than one occasion to call it quits while reading this book, but soldiered on, hoping for something to change my opinion. I’ve grown so weary of the dual storyline, which appears to be THE popular literary device of the 21st century!

Final Thoughts:

I have no quotes. No favorite passages. Just a glimmer of hope that The Last Letter From Your Lover will win my heart all over again.

Click here to read my review of Me Before You.

27 comments:

  1. I haven't read this one, but I adored Me Before You. Added to the TBR list.

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    1. Me Before You is one I'll definitely read again. Such a good story!

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  2. Oh no! I loved Me Before You so I've been looking forward to more of Moyes' work.

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    1. I think I'm in the minority, Kathy. Don't listen to me! :)

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  3. Aww, too bad. I'm also weary of that literary device, but while I liked the historical storyline much better than the contemporary one here, I still loved the book... even more than Me Before You. Of course, reading it on the beach last winter may have influenced my reaction. ;-)

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    1. I think reading on the beach in the middle of winter would be heavenly. Yes, I think it influenced you just a bit. :)

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  4. Me Before You left a deep impression on me, as well. I enjoyed Ship of Brides, but not nearly as much.

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    1. I'm going to give Ship of Brides a try, but not until next year. I need to have some space between books by the same author.

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  5. Oh no!! I really liked this one (not quite as much as Me Before You) but I did want to stay in the past rather than following both timelines (I agree, it's a tired tired trick). I'm sorry this one didn't do it for you.

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    1. I have one other by her in my stacks (The Last Letter From Your Lover) and I want to read Ship of Brides, so I haven't given up all hope.

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  6. I liked it well enough. I haven't read Me Before You - so I obviously need to!

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    1. Oh, you are in for such a treat if you haven't read Me Before You. It's very, very good. You do need to have a good supply of Kleenex handy, though...

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  7. I haven't read a book of her's yet. Maybe I won't start with this one!
    Sorry you didn't like it.

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    1. If you haven't read any of hers, I highly recommend Me Before You. It's excellent!

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  8. Totally with you about being weary of that blend of historical and present-day story lines that has become so common. I invariably find that I prefer one and get irritated when reading the other (and I never know whether I'll prefer the historical or contemporary). As to Jojo Moyes, though, I've loved absolutely everything I've read by her, so far. Ship of Brides is my personal favorite. Me Before You was so gut-wrenching that I don't plan to ever reread it, much as I loved it.

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    1. OK, I think I'm going to read Ship of Brides before The Last Letter From Your Lover, even though I have the latter on my nightstand. Ship of Brides seems to be another favorite amongst bloggers.

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  9. So far, The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion has been the only book in which both story lines have engaged me equally. They felt better connected than in the other twenty-seven books I've read lately using this device.

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    1. I'm not familiar with that book, Janet. Off to look it up!

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  10. The Girl You Left Behind left me rather cold, but it's in part because when I love a book an at pitcher has written it's hard to beat that first infatuation. What can surpass Me Before You? Nothing. But, The One Plus One comes in as my second favorite of JoJo's.

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    1. Hmmm, Ship of Brides or One Plus One? Pushing The Last Letter from Your Lover lower and lower in my stacks...

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  11. p.s. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on The Goldfinch!

    p.s.s. Are you doing the read-a-thon on October 18? Want to cheer each other on?

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    1. Just wrote a little bit about The Goldfinch in my Sunday Salon...

      I'm not sure if I'll participate in the read-a-thon this year. I'm heading to California on the 22nd and I'll have lots to do in preparation since my hubby is staying here.

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  12. The dual story line on this one didn't work for me either, although I think there might have been something there for each story on their own. It certainly didn't have that same combination of humor and emotional tug that Me Before You did.

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    1. I hope all her other books don't follow this literary device.

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  13. I liked this one more than you, but it was my first introduction to Moyes writing, and in general, enjoyed that experience. However, I did not like the two storylines either. I have The Ship of Brides waiting for me. We'll see how that goes.

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    1. I can't remember if you've read Me Before You. It's one I know I'll read again.

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    2. Yep. I did. I thought it was very good.

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