My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time Taken To Read - 3 days (work got in the way)
Blurb From Goodreads
What happened to the girl you left behind?
In 1916 French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to fight at the Front. When her town falls into German hands, his portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything - her family, reputation and life - in the hope of seeing her true love one last time.
Nearly a century later and Sophie's portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting's dark and passion-torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened...
In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for the thing they love most - whatever the cost.
The book starts with Sophie Lefevre in 1916, France. The war is already well underway and Sophie's family and town are feeling the effects. Their men are gone, there is little food, curfews, beatings and violence - all that goes along with war. Sophie is a strong, brave lady who does not take kindly to the Germans and what they stand for and often puts herself on the line to challenge them. Slowly the town starts to question her loyalty and her love and longing for her husband soon gets her into a situation that may cost her her life.
Just under halfway through the book we switch to London 2006 where we meet Liz. A young woman who has been through a lot in the past 4 years. She finally lets her guard down and meets a man but as fate would have it, a bombshell is about to be dropped. A painting her late husband bought her on her honeymoon is being sought by the Lefevre family as an heir loom stolen by the Germans during the war. The girl you left behind has more than monitory value for her and she will fight them even if it means losing everything, including her new man.
I loved this story! I was annoyed when we left Sophie and skipped to Liv as something big had just happened and I loved her character, I wanted to know what has happened. However I soon got into Liv's story and after a while the two link up as they are joined by the history of the painting. Two women caught up in love, one sacrificing herself for her husband and the other to honor and do the right thing for the painting of the girl you left behind.
I would have got through this in a day had I not had to work, I found it hard to put down as I was hooked into both stories and wanting to know what happened to Sophie and if Liv will get what is rightfully hers. This story covers many aspects, betrayal, love, honor, bravery, war, friendship and the lengths that some people will go to for what they love. The story crosses over two time periods but it is done so well and is really easy to follow. I do enjoy this authors style of writing (this is the second book I have read of hers and it won't be my last). A really enjoyable story that will leave you thinking, what would you have done. Great for a book group I would think, 4 out of 5 for me. Thanks to Real Readers for giving me an ARC copy of this book and the opportunity to review it.