Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

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The Girl You Left Behind
by
Jojo Moyes

Penguin Books
2014
Pages:  369

This novel is two stories in one written around the Edouard Lefevre's portrait of Sophie.

World War I in France is the setting for the beginning of this novel about Sophie's fight to save her family from the Germans who have taken over their city.  Edouard, Sophie's husband has gone to fight the German and becomes a POW.  Sophie struggles to keep the family hotel open by serving meals to their German captors.  Food is always in short supply and with the German's eating at the hotel, they are supplied with some extra food and fuel to survive.

Edouard, a known artist, painted Sophie's portrait before their marriage and it catches the eye of the local Kommandant.  Sophie wants to find Edouard and she hopes that the portrait may help her find Edouard with the Kommandant's assistance.  Sophie's world is turned upside down by the war.  How will she save her family?

Liv Halston is given Sophie's portrait as a wedding present from her dead husband.  Liv is attached to this portrait and it becomes that central element of a trial to return stolen art to the rightful owners.

Who truly owns the portrait?  Will the real story be told?

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