The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
After reading Me Before You early last year (wow, time flies), I couldn't wait to get my hands on another of Moyes' offerings. I can't believe it's taken me this long!
Now, if you saw either of my Victoria Hislop reviews (this or this) you may know that I am a big fan of books with a bit of history. This plot is kinda similar to both the Hislop novels actually, as it tells two stories - one in the present and one in the past. It starts by telling the story of Sophie Lefevre who, in France in the early 1900's, has her portrait painted by artist and husband Edward Lefevre. WW1 commences, her husband is sent to war, her life turns upside-down - and her painting falls into the hands of a German kommandant. Meanwhile, in the present day, Liv Halston becomes embroiled in a bitter legal dispute over the provenance and ownership of The Girl You Left Behind - a painting given to her by her late husband as a wedding gift.
As you can imagine the two stories weave together, bringing the past forward to the present, and raising issues of stolen works of art during the war. Doesn't sound particularly thrilling, I know, but woven with a good couple of love stories and great characters - its a winner. It's the perfect beach book being an easy read but completely gripping and thought-provoking.