The Girl You Left Behind - JoJo Moyes
The story opens in a small French town close to Lille, in 1916. St Peronne is under German occupation, and Sophie, the unwilling proprietress of the local inn, Le Coq Rouge, is forced to cook feasts for enemy soldiers as her friends and family starve. Her old life in Paris, with her artist husband, is a distant memory- and all she has to remind her of him is a painting- a piece of art in which the German Kommandment soon begins to show an unnerving interest.
Leaving Sophie’s story at a moment of great drama, the story jumps 90 years and crosses the channel to London, where we meet Liv, the young widow who now owns the painting- and learn just why it means so much to her, before returning, finally, to reveal exactly what happened to Sophie- and her painting.
Atmospheric, moving and a wonderful evocation of the towns and countryside around the border of France and Belgium, this is essential reading for any trip to Lille.