Monday, December 2, 2013

The Girl You Left Behind - Jojo Moyes

http://www.jojomoyes.com/admin/upload/1cad33665b671a57878a25d7dc53067aGYLBcover.png 

France, 1916:  Artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his young wife, Sophie, to fight at the front. When their small town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War I, Edouard’s portrait of Sophie draws the eye of the new Kommandant. As the officer’s dangerous obsession deepens, Sophie will risk everything—her family, her reputation, and her life—to see her husband again.

Almost a century later, Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv Halston by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. A chance encounter reveals the painting’s true worth, and a battle begins for who its legitimate owner is—putting Liv’s belief in what is right to the ultimate test.

I just finished reading this book on my ebook reader.  Since I read it on my ebook, and it doesn't have any brief synopsis about this story, I just read it.  To tell you the truth, if I've known the synopsis, I don't think I'll read this book.  This definitely not my kind of book.

The story divided into two parts.  Part  1 set at a little town in France around 1916, where the town was occupied by the Germans.  It tell about the town, about the people, and about the sisters, Helene and Sophie, both are married and their husbands are away at war.  And it tell about the painting that Sophie's husband made for her.  

Part 2 set in London year 2006, about Liv whose husband has been dead for 4 years and yet she doesn't seem can move on, and she own the painting of Sophie, that bought by her husband, David, as a wedding gift on their honeymoon.  And suddenly, the Lefevre demand that the painting, "The Girl You Left Behind" is returned to the rightfull owner, the Lefevre family.  And through this second part, we learned what happened to Sophie, to Eduard, and the painting.

As I said before, this is not my kind of book I read.  I never liked the story with war as a background. especially when the war is still going on.  I find it too depressing.  Even if in the end they have a happy ending, I tend to avoid any story with war in it.  And the truth, I don't even know why I keep on reading this book.

The pace is slow, maybe because I can almost feel, see, and sense the depressing mood or atmosphere of the story.  Everyday seems like a dread, waiting something bad to happen, and you have to be extra careful.

At the beginning, I admire Sophie, for her courage, her positive attitude, her hope.  She's never give up, and when she found out that her husband has been captured and send to reprisal camp, she'll do anything to keep her husband alive.  And that's when I started to dislike her hahahaha....

There are points where I really think that Sophie was stupid, too naive, too trusting, but I have to admit that she's really...really perseverance.  And sorry to say but I kinda expected to read about Sophie's death before the book was end. 

When I reached the second part, I feel sooo relieved! Oh finally! We arrived at 2006! But what do you know...it still depressed hahaha....Liv still can't move on after 4 years her husband died, she has no money, she mortgaged her house (it was designed by her husband), and when she finally start to move on, she found out that the guy she's been seeing is the guy whose job is looking and returning the stolen painting, and the painting was Liv's.  Suddenly she has to fight for her painting in court that will cost a fortune. 

If you ever read Heist Society (and the sequels) you know that during WW2, lots of painting (and sculpture) were taken by the Nazi, just because its beauty (and they wanted it).  After the war, lots of the painting and the sculpture were returned to the original owner.  Sometimes the process take a lot of time, because first the painting must be found and the owner has to proof that they really are the owner.

The painting "The Girl You Left Behind" was rumored to be stolen while WW1 and since it was stolen, according to the law, the painting must be returned to the rightful owner.  The Lefevre.  Liv, who doesn't want to part with the painting, start to look for the story behind the painting.  She's began to look about Sophie's family.

And in second part, we also begin to know what happened to Sophie, and later about Eduard.

Oh wow...for not my kind of book, I wrote a lot about the book :D

I really don't know why I keep on reading this book.  Maybe because I want to know what will happen to Sophie.  I want to know if her sacrifice will fruitful. And in the end, I want to know what happen to the painting, to Liv.

Thanks God it has a happy end, so I'm quite happy with the result hahaha.

While I read this book, I can't keep myself from comparing the sensation I felt, and one book come to mind.  The Gargoyle.  The story is definitely not the same, but both books are drama, with slow pace, quite lots of descriptive, and have a somber mood. 

I don't know if I'll buy her books, but at least I know I enjoyed reading this book.

 

3 comments:

Ditogendut said...

Ohoweeee... Ceritanya kayanya penuh dengan sayatan hati nih buku. Jauh-jauh dari gue dulu dah, bisa beneran banjir air mata ntar. Orang kemaren nonton Catching Fire aja udah kaya gitu, padahal tema utamanya bukan penyayatan hati, gimana kalo emang tujuan utama buku itu isinya menyayat hati, bisa masuk ICU gara-gara dehidrasi kebanyakan banjir air mata gue ntar. Hehehe...

Btw, buku ini yang bikin elu kemaren tiba-tiba nanya soal WW1 itu ya? Hieh... Perang yang menyedihkan.

Tapi sebenernya gue udah beberapa kali sih baca/nonton cerita dimana objek utama konfliknya adalah barang curian/rampasan perang gitu. Ini masih sukur barang dari WW1, kalo barang dari WW2 biasanya ceritanya dijamin hallal bakal bikin tsunami air mata. Huiks...

Caroline Zenia said...

Nah itu dia masalahnya...gue gak berasa sedih sama sekali baca buku ini. Gue berasa...ya itu..despair, hopeless. I don't feel the love at all.

Gue salut banget sama Sophie for being soo positive, still full of hope, still believe in humanity after so many...torment.

Tapi di satu sisi ya itu, gue rasanya mau marah juga. Meskipun in the end they have their happy ending but still...

Kayaknya gue jarang nangiis or sedih pas liat film perang...

Ditogendut said...

Emang sih, film perang emang jarang bikin sedih, tapi sekalinya muncul adegan sedihnya, haduh... bendungan jebol dah.

Sebenernya soal Sophie yang bersikap positive itu ada penjelasannya sih Ze. Mereka di jaman itu kan belum ngerti konsep "perang dunia", jadi orang-orang jaman itu memang nggak ngira kalau ternyata skala perangnya separah itu. Apalagi pemerintah masing-masing negara juga gak bakal ngasi tau rakyatnya soal kenyataan di garis depan, karena resikonya bisa terjadi penolakan perang sama rakyatnya, jadi ya orang-orangnya cuman mikir "oh, cuman perang gitu doang", terutama karena Eropa jaman itu kan emang masih sering perang satu sama lain tiap berapa tahun sekali.

Begitu perangnya selesai, baru dah pada nyadar kalau selama itu mereka udah menjalani perang dunia. Lha wong sampai PD2 dimulai, PD1 kan disebutnya cuman sebagai "the great war". Soal kata "great" di situ juga gak gitu ngaruh sih buat beberapa orang, karena mereka jaman itu suka ngasi nama yang rada-rada hiperbola, seperti "the glorious revolution" yang mana bahkan bukan sebuah revolusi, apalagi sebuah revolusi yang glorious. Hahaha...

Kita aja di jaman sekarang udah bisa ngeliat ke belakang, ke jaman itu, n ngebayanginnya kayanya hidup di jaman itu kok kayanya sengsara banget. Padahal mungkin 40 tahun lagi generasi yang hidup di jaman itu bakal mikir kok generasi kita bisa bertahan hidup di dunia yang dipenuhi terror. Yuk mariii... Ada juga kita sebagai anggota masyarakat kebanyakan mah kenanya terror "mama minta pulsa" tuh. Wkwkwk...

Please e-mail me directly if you have any question about things that I wrote in this blog at celotehze@yahoo.com