“The Girl You Left Behind” by Jojo Moyes

A very well-written book! Liv and Sophie are incredibly fleshed out and incredibly easy to sympathize. My emotions and who I sided with kept changing constantly. I seriously couldn’t help but root for Sophie the whole time.

At first this seemed like a problem. And in hindsight maybe it still is a problem. I was so invested in Sophie’s story and her family’s injustice and sorrow that I didn’t even want to hear about some lady named Liv… I just didn’t care. At first. Then I started to see that the Lefevre family was apparently greedy and undeserving, met Sophie’s nephew – who felt inexplicable gratitude and love toward Sophie, even though he was somewhat forbidden from those emotions, and saw how much Liv actually cared about Sophie and her story. That was what did it for me; because I very much cared about what happened to Sophie. I wanted her mystery solved, and to have her reputation put intact once again, and to have people know who she was and that she was not deserving of slander. So as Liv defended Sophie more, I became more interested in Liv.

I don’t know if that was the author’s intent. I think we’re so jarred by the first act’s ending, and then we’re thrown into someone else’s story that we can’t help but only want Sophie and for Jojo Moyes to get to the point already. That way when the connections start happening, we are overwhelmed with how awesome said connections are. Maybe that was Moyes’ goal; to make Liv earn our interest and earn our view of her as being “right” and on her side. Because everyone outside thinks she’s doing a horrible wrong by keeping the painting, but she’s actually being faithful to Sophie. But outsiders (including readers) don’t see that. All they/we see is injustice, until Liv is proven right and Sophie gets a happy ending.

Anywho, all the characters were fleshed out. Mo, Paul, Helene, Liv, and Sophie. It was an incredibly original story. I’m not giving it a full 5 stars though because of my troubles with not liking/caring about Liv until way late. And because Moyes REALLY dragged out the court stuffs. But overall very good!

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