Determined not to be “behind” this time, I read THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND by Jojo Moyes last weekend; it just came out this week. And yes, this is the first time I have selected two Bets On titles by the same author in the same month (the other was ME BEFORE YOU, which is now available in paperback). The title references a painting done by an artist named Edouard Lefevre of his wife, Sophie, in France in 1916. He is off to the front in World War I, and shortly afterwards their town is captured by the Germans. Sophie and her sister are forced to prepare meals for German soldiers each evening at their inn, while during the day the townspeople frequent the place. Sophie takes a huge risk to see her husband again --- one that will endanger her life and put her at odds with the entire town.
Flash forward nearly a century, and this same portrait is given to a young woman named Liv Halston as a wedding gift from her husband. He dies suddenly soon afterwards, and this painting is one of the few things that brings Liv comfort. At the same time, the origins of the painting come under fire, and Liv has to investigate its origins to ensure that it can rightfully be hers. By the end of the story, I felt like I had seen the painting; it is described that vividly. Both the present-day story and the historical one kept me turning the pages to finish it in a day. Those who enjoyed ME BEFORE YOU will not be disappointed!