The Girl You Left Behind was an easy, enjoyable read. I gave it a 3.5/5 primarily because it was one of those books that you don’t really need to focus on, but it keeps your attention. It was a predictable story, similar to a lot of the mystery-ish novels I have read that are set in the UK with a past and present storyline being told simultaneously.
The past storyline took place during WWI and followed a hotelier named Sophie as she basically sacrificed everything for a chance to see her husband again. She was bold and courageous, and stood up to the people who persecuted her. It ties into the present day story via a painting of Sophie. The painting is owned by the 2nd main character, Liv. It is the (self-proclaimed) only thing that she has left to remind her of her deceased husband. You know, besides all his stuff, a wonderful house and a place on the board of his old company. Liv finds out that her new man friend is actually a detective hired to find her painting and return it to the family that it was allegedly stolen from 90 years previously.
I found myself much more interested in the WWI story than the present day story. The present day story just didn’t seem that believable, and Liv annoyed me a little bit. Her love interest just happened to be an employee of the company that was ruining her life, the evidence that they need in order to have a happy ending just happens to fall into her lap 90 something years after it should have been lost forever. Not to mention, her life was out of control and instead of doing something about it, she became a hermit. She was a jerk to every single person who tried to be nice to her. She never even thought about the other people in her life. For that reason, I just found it kind of hard to like her, and since I didn’t really like her, I couldn’t care much about what happened to her.
Even with those problems, it was a quick read, and Sophie’s parts helped carry along the present day story. It’s worth reading if you just want to spend a couple mindless days reading a nice chick lit mystery-ish book. (I know I keep saying mystery-ish; I don’t really consider this a mystery book, however it does have a few of the characteristics of a mystery, as you are unsure of what happens to Sophie until the very end.)