"Sponsored" Post- The Girl You Left Behind

I recently finished JoJo Moyes' The Girl You Left Behind and was unfortunately not terribly impressed. I read Me Before You several months ago and was pleasantly surprised by the genuine feeling and naturally simple writing style. Unfortunately, I didn't feel quite the same way about this novel.

The Girl You Left Behind starts off during WWI in France where a woman named Sophie is trying to run an inn/restaurant with her sister, despite the fact their husbands are gone to war and the Germans have invaded their small town. Eventually a German commander takes an interest in Sophie and the painting of herself that her husband had completed at the beginning of their relationship. Sophie promises him the painting, and herself (for a night, anyway), if he will help to free her husband. 

Fast forward ninety or so years to Liv, a grieving, broke widow who is completely lost. She ends up meeting, and falling for, a man named Paul, who works for a company who recovers stolen art work. Coincidentally, he realizes one day while at Liv's house that she owns the piece he is currently trying to recover, which of course means everything to Liv since her dead husband gave it to her. Drama ensues.

I will say that I enjoyed the first hundred or so pages, during Sophie's section of the novel. While the writing style isn't necessarily anything ground-breaking it was an interesting story and the characters had much more depth than later in the novel. Once Moyes zooms into the future things start falling apart. The characters are flat, the cliches are abundant, and the coincidences and timing border on ridiculous. 

I do think people looking for a quick, semi-entertaining read will be interested in this (what's the fall equivalent of beach read?). I think it lacks the appeal of Me Before You and may annoy those looking for substantial depth or high-quality writing, though. 

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me Viking/Penguin for free, but, as always, opinions are always my own. 

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I was entertained enough by the novel and enjoyed Sophie's segment of the story. I also liked the first few chapters into Liv's side of the story but then she became very irritating to me =S