Yet again, Jojo Moyes has created a story that will hold a place in my heart forever. I began reading The Girl You Left Behind after spotting it on my local library’s shelf on a whim. Within the first 20 pages I was hooked and couldn’t put this one down.
I connected with all the characters in the story except one. Liv Halston. After falling in love with Sophie, this strong, capable woman, I felt like the shift to present time was so abrupt that there was no chance of me connecting to Liv, a stubborn, mess of a girl. It sounds harsh, but the contrast of these two characters meant that one was going to be preferred over the other. I didn’t understand, and felt frustrated by, Liv’s lack of rationale when it came to the painting. I understood that her late husband had bought it for her, but I couldn’t get past that this painting ultimately didn’t belong to her. Of course, I was overjoyed at the end when everything was resolved – but still, why was she so unlovable?
I always enjoyed the switch of perspectives: From Sophie, to Liv, to Paul – It kept the story fresh and allowed me, as the reader, to see characters more clearly. The relationship described between Sophie and Edouard was magical. A true fairytale romance. I hope my marriage will be 10% as magnificent as theirs was.
I feel like this review was mumbled and I am struggling to find words to express how deeply I love this book. If you have never read a Jojo Moyes book, start with this or Me Before You and just fall in love as I have done.