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Girl You Left Behind [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Jojo Moyes
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (893 customer reviews)
RRP: £30.62
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Book Description

27 Dec 2012

The Girl You Left Behind is a hauntingly romantic and utterly irresistible new weepy from Jojo Moyes, author of the Richard and Judy bestseller, Me Before You.

What happened to the girl you left behind?

France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by Edouard - a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision.

Almost a century later, and Sophie's portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting's true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv's life upside down all over again . . .

In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for what they love most - whatever the cost.

If you can't wait for The Girl You Left Behind treat yourself to the prequel, Honeymoon in Paris, Jojo Moyes' irresistible ebook-only novella out now.

Praise for Jojo Moyes:

'Destined to be the novel that friends press upon each other more than any other . . . Moyes does a majestic job of conjuring a cast of characters who are charismatic, credible and utterly compelling' Independent on Sunday

'This truly beautiful story made us laugh, smile and sob like a baby' Closer

Jojo Moyes is a novelist and a journalist. She worked at the Independent for ten years before leaving to write full time. Her previous novels have all been critically acclaimed and include the Richard and Judy bestseller Me Before You, The Last Letter from Your Lover, Ship of Brides and Foreign Fruit.

This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.


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Product details

  • Audio CD: 13 pages
  • Publisher: Wf Howes; Unabridged Audiobook 13 CDs edition (27 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471216624
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471216626
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 13.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (893 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Jojo Moyes paints a genuinely moving, beautiful picture of how love and belief will ultimately win the war, even if they can't win the battle. The Girl You Left Behind is a true work of art --Fabulous

Even as Moyes tackles the inflammatory issues around art stolen during wartime, she never loses sight of the driving engine of her narrative . . . this pleasurably assured writer skilfully balances the quotidian and the comic with the broad and universal, leaving us with the tantalising possibility of a potential caper to come --Independent on Sunday

About the Author

Jojo Moyes is a novelist and a journalist. She worked at the Independent for ten years before leaving to write full time. Her previous novels have all been critically acclaimed and include Me Before You, The Last Letter from Your Lover, Ship of Brides and Foreign Fruit. She lives in Essex with her husband and their three children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
130 of 133 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pictures painted 9 July 2012
By Sukie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jojo Moyes is fast becoming one of my favourite authors - I loved Me Before You and The Last Letter, and was really excited to read this new novel.

The Girl You Left Behind opens grippingly with the story of Sophie Lefevre and her family. It is 1916, and her French village has been occupied by the Germans - life is tough. Sophie's husband Edouard, an artist, is away at war and she and her sister Helene are struggling to make ends meet, running Le Coq Rouge, the village inn. Then a German Kommandant insists that they begin cooking for his men, much to Sophie's disgust. Chillingly, the Kommandant seems to take a liking to Sophie, and appears bewitched by the portrait Edouard painted of her, entitled The Girl You Left Behind. Can Sophie use his liking of her to get information about her husband... or is that a dangerous game too far?

The action turns to the present day and we meet Liv Halston, a young widow, who is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life following the death of her beloved husband, David. The Girl You Left Behind now hangs on her wall, a gift from David, yet she has no idea of the story behind the painting... until the Lefevre family start trying to trace the missing artwork, claiming that it was looted illegally by the German army during the war, and should rightfully be returned to them. Desperate not to be parted from her husband's gift, Liv digs in her heels. Moyes cleverly reveals the story of Sophie, and the two women's lives become entwined.

I absolutely loved the first half of this book - I was gripped by Sophie's storyline. She is a great character - feisty and resourceful, proud, spirited and loving - yet fallible and vulnerable too. I found the second half of the novel much slower and in all honesty, a bit long.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Popular fiction at its best 4 July 2012
By Laura T VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I loved Jojo Moyes's last novel, 'Me Before You', so I was thrilled to hear she had a new book out (and very grateful to receive an early reading copy). As with 'Me Before You', I raced through this book and didn't want it to end. In some ways, I think it's even better - if only because Moyes sets herself more difficult structural challenges with this one, and avoids the pitfalls of handling multiple narrators more gracefully. I'll say at the start that this book features two of my pet hates in popular (and indeed literary) fiction; a story from the past juxtaposed with a modern-day narrative (often because the author has no idea how to handle historical fiction) and parallels between the two stories (because these are usually obvious and not very illuminating). The fact that Moyes, seemingly effortlessly, manages to make these contrivances seem natural is a sign of the strength of her work.

Sophie Lefevre is trying to survive in an occupied area of France during the First World War, while her husband, Edouard, is away fighting at the front. One small comfort is that she still possesses the picture he painted of her before they were married, 'The Girl You Left Behind'. However, when the Kommandant of the German battalion occupying her village begins to take an interest in Sophie, her position becomes increasingly precarious. In the present day, Liv Halston is still grieving her architect husband, David, who died four years ago; her most precious memento of their relationship is not the house he built for them, but 'The Girl You Left Behind', which David bought for her on her honeymoon.
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113 of 125 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing 1 July 2012
By FLB TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I feel bad about writing anything remotely negative about this book. I first read JoJo Moyes a few months ago when I read "Me before you" - a book that made me love, laugh, sob and grieve. I don't think I had ever read a book quite like it and I could not wait for the new novel.

I was lucky enough to get a pre-release and it arrived yesterday.......I read the whole book (400+ pages) in one day, finishing late last night.

I really liked the story of Sophie and occupied France, I could picture Le Coq Rouge and life in the first world war and I was so engrossed in her story I could not put the book down.

Then in the second part came Liv and the prolonged and somewhat dull court battle around the painting Liv was left by her deceased husband. The second part of the book bored me and I found myself almost speed reading through the pages to get back to Sophie.

I am sure the book will be enjoyed by many, the story is clever and is very well written, but my gripe is that I just wasn't moved in the same way 'Me before you' moved me.....I found parts of this story boring, drawn out and not required. I would have quite happily read 500 pages exclusively about Sophie and given it 5 stars.

I am sorry JoJo, but it just didn't thrill me like your last book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 29 Jun 2012
By Joey VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the third JoJo Moyes book I have read. I wasn't overly fussed by The Last Letter to your Lover but loved Me Before You. Having now read The Girl You Left Behind, I would say it is the best of the three I have read. I must confess, I have even put my son down for his sleeps earlier than normal just to read this book.

The book follws two females, Sophie Lefevre in 1914 occupied France, and Liv Halston in 2006 London. Sophie's husband has been drafted to fight in the war and Liv is a young widow. Both women are linked by a portrait of Sophie that has a dramatic impact on both their lives.

I really want to say what the novel is about but I really don't want to give anything away as this book is such a treat. I am not normally a fan of wartime stories but the Sophie segments are written on a personal level giving the reader an insight into the fear and feelings people of that time must have felt. I felt it was so well written and so compelling that I just did not want to stop reading. Another reviewer has said that they didn't find the situation between Sophie and the Kommandent convincing; I am in two minds over this, on one hand, I will admit to being disappointed in the Kommandent as I felt that maybe he just wanted to be accepted as a person rather than a uniform and therefore just wanted a closeness to someone, but on the other hand, I can see that desperation and fear could drive a person, ie Sophie to do anything to be reunited with her husband.

This is a great read whether you are a fan of JoJo Moyes or not and I can't think of anyone who it won't appeal to. I am already recommending it to all my friends for it's release later this year.
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