The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes; published 2012 by Penguin Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Opening line: “I was dreaming of food.”
During World War I in France, Sophie Lefevre is running her family’s inn and restaurant while her husband, the painter Edouard Lefevre, is fighting at the front. Her town is occupied by the Germans, and the Kommandant has decided that Sophie’s inn will serve the officers. On one hand, this means Sophie and her family can put off starvation by eating the scraps from their meals; on the other hand, the town begins to resent her special treatment. What makes it worse is that the Kommandant finds a beautiful picture of Sophie painted by her husband, and from then on looks at Sophie in a new way. When Sophie finds out that Edouard has been interned in one of the worst prison camps, she will do whatever the Kommandant wants to secure Edouard’s freedom.