Happy Monday, everyone! My apologies for being a bit MIA. One, my reading has slacked big time. Adulthood has been kicking my butt lately so regrettably, my books have been a bit on the back-burner. Two, I had a minor hand injury last week (well, thumb) and that halted a lot of my writing/typing for a couple of days. You never realize how important thumbs are to that process until your dominant one is out of commission. It’s actually going to take me several weeks to heal up, but it feels better than it did last week, so, forward I go!
I digress. Tonight, I’m finally going to be reviewing another novel (and bonus novella) from Jojo Moyes. Call it a gearing up for Me Before You movie release if you will. A few weeks back, a friend and I had a Barnes & Noble
outing to just browse. My TBR is honestly endless, but as I wandered, nothing was quite speaking to me, until it hit me. I just had this feeling I needed to finally binge and stock up on every Moyes story they had on their shelves (I apologize here and now if I cleaned them out of their inventory). Although I have a love/hate relationship with MBY, I admired and adored Jojo’s work, so I had to go through every book she’s ever written and just read read read. With the following stories, I got a few more of her literary adventures under my belt.
Honeymoon in Paris was the prequel to The Girl You Left Behind, which I actually read after the main story. I had no idea these 60 pages were hiding in the back of my novel, so I didn’t get to it until I had already read the book that was meant to be second in line.
This was a bit heartbreaking to read. I guess this is usual with a Moyes story. Two couples, decades apart, tell their stories of life after marriage during the lune de miel, also known as the honeymoon.
In 2002, Liv is left to wander the streets of Paris alone while her new husband, David, spends three of their five days in meetings with prospective partners in order to launch his reputation in the world of architecture. In 1912, Sophie must learn of her husband, Edouard’s passionate past as an artist.
Both couples are in new and unknown territory, and the honeymoon phase is not going quite how they hoped or dreamed. Just goes to show that weddings and marriage aren’t all they’re always cracked up to be, you just have to wonder if they’ll endure, or let their demons get the best of them. To have things end before they can start would be thoroughly heartbreaking.
The Girl You Left Behind comes after the honeymoon period is long over. I adored this book. I knew it was a story of war and long, lost love, but I had no idea of the direction it would take me.
It’s 1916 and Sophie is left in the French countryside with her brother, sister, and all of their respective children while her husband, Edouard and her brother in-law, Jean Michele, fight at the front in the First World War.
While that isn’t hard enough, their village and home are occupied by enemy Germans. The hardships this family goes through is absolutely heart-wrenching.
In the 2000s, Liv is trying to navigate life as a young widow. Her husband, David, has suddenly passed a few years prior, and she’s been lost and wandering ever since.
Both Sophie and Liv are connected by a particular painting that seems to have traveled through time, and they both fight their own wars to defend the priceless work of art. It’s sentiment is worth more than any punishment or legal action they may endure. While I didn’t necessarily agree with how they always handled situations presented to them, it was nice to see strong women holding their ground in variations of adversity. I loved being in Paris at the turn of the century and in current-day London in order to partake in the adventures these ladies embarked on in order to survive and truly endure.