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Giveaway for Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

August 5, 2013

imagesIn celebration of the paperback release of the wildly popular Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, I’m hosting a Giveaway courtesy of Viking Press. Here’s what people are saying about this bestselling novel:

“When I finished this novel, I didn’t want to review it; I wanted to reread it…An affair to remember.” — Liesl Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review

“To be devoured like candy, between tears.” — O, The Oprah Magazine

“Funny and moving but never predictable.” — USA Today

If that isn’t reason enough to get excited, Moyes will release her next book, The Girl You Left Behind, on August 20th. (Watch for my Giveaway that week.)

The Girl You Left BehindHere’s a Q&A with Moyes about The Girl You Left Behind:

The Girl You Left Behind, though a love story, features strong female relationships as well. What made you want to write about the connections that can form between women? If Liv and Sophie had lived in the same time, do you think they would have been friends?

My female friendships are so important to me; I honestly don’t know how women survive without them. I get very bored of reading manufactured narratives that pit women against women; the working mums vs. stay at homes, old vs. young, the ‘evil’ woman boss who is trying to keep younger women down—I don’t recognise these images—most women I know are actually pretty supportive of each other. So I liked having relationships in this book where women are supportive of each other, even if their relationships are often complex and changing. To me that reflects real life.

And yes, I think that Sophie and Liv might have been friends—I think through her sister’s grief, Sophie might have understood Liv’s own. And both knew what it was like to utterly adore your husband.

The reclamation of art taken during wartime is central to the plot. How did you first encounter this topic and what kind of research did you do to learn more about it?

I was briefly the arts correspondent for The Independent newspaper in London, so I knew a bit about the legal issues. But I read an amazing news story about a young woman reporter who had been asked to mind a huge collection of stolen Nazi artwork, and was given a very valuable stolen Cranach as a ‘thank you.’ Many decades later when it came up for auction it was recognised and became the subject of a claim.

It would seem the issue of returning stolen art is clear-cut, but Liv finds herself trying to keep a painting that may have been ill-gotten. Is there room for sympathy on both sides?

Without wanting to diminish in any way the suffering of those who lost their precious belongings, I think there is. The more time that goes by, the more complicated the issue becomes, as people buy and sell in good faith, not knowing the painting’s tainted past. These things are also complicated when great legal industries spring up around them, as seems to have happened in the case of stolen artwork.

You create a vivid sense of French life under the German Occupation in WWI. Did you know much about this period prior to writing the novel?

No I didn’t, but the more research I did, the more fascinated I became by it. I knew about the terrible losses suffered in northern France during the first world war, but I knew little about life away from the Western Front, and the fact that in a great swathe of northern France Belgian and French people had their homes and belongings requisitioned in such a widespread and systematic way.

Sophie and Liv exist a century apart, but their lives are strongly connected, making the past feel very much alive in your story. Do you feel a strong link to the past or a particular historic figure?

That’s an interesting question. I’m not sure I do. I’m always amazed when people do past life regression and say they turned out to be Cleopatra or Florence Nightingale… I think I’d be the anonymous girl who ran the fruit stall near the river, or kept the accounts in the hat shop. But I do like to look at the lives of particularly brave women in history though, undercover women agents, in wartime or Amelia Earhart, say, and try to use their actions to make me braver in my everyday life, like standing up to a traffic warden….

What do you hope readers will take away from THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND?

I hope they’ll be transported into a time and place they didn’t know about. And I hope that they will put themselves in the place of Sophie and Liv, and ask: what would I do in their shoes? I love writing strong, resourceful female characters, and Sophie was one of my favourites, so I hope some women might be a little bit inspired too. Mostly I simply hope that they will feel glad they picked up the book and took the journey with me.

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If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Me Before You, email your name and mailing address to diane@dianeprokop.com. Unfortunately, you must reside in the U.S.

Put Me Before You Giveaway in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Your chance of winning increases if you leave a comment or like the post. If you have entered but not won a book in past Giveaways, this could be your lucky day.

I’ll accept entries until midnight on August 8, 2013—at which time I’ll draw the winning name. Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending giveaway winners copies of the book.

To be sure you don’t miss a chance to enter future Giveaways, sign up to Follow my blog by email. I promise you’ll only get one or two emails per week.

From → Giveaway, Viking

6 Comments
  1. This is me greatly increasing my chances. Hahaha.

  2. I was wondering what all the fuss was about with Me Before You so picked it up and while it gripped me enough not to stop reading it, I’m still not sure ‘why the fuss’. You know when someone says, what was the last book you read and you can’t remember? This one fell into that category for me. Eh.
    But I like what you wrote about girlfriends — I’m with you there – and this one sounds more appealing. Maybe I’ll give JoJo’s another shot. (oh, too many books!!)

    • I’m anxious to read her new one as well, Tricia. Me Before You was the first book I’ve read that dealt with the issue of the “right to die.” I’m kind of surprised I hadn’t run into a book with that subject before. I think it’s an important topic that has yet to be explored as fully as it can be.

  3. Great, that means you’ll be reading her next book, I’m intrigued to know how it reads. I enjoyed Me Before You finding it very similar to the French film Intouchables which I had seen just before reading Moyes book. I admit I am tempted by the French setting of this one, but am feeling slightly overwhelmed by too much reading to do and unwilling to keep building the pile until I can reduce it somewhat.

    Looking forward to a weeks holiday next week, not that it is any guarantee of more reading time, but balmy late nights when all else is quiet, beckon. Reading bliss.

  4. Claire, I had completely forgotten about the Intouchables. You’re right – very similar. I’m hoping that The Girl You Left Behind is even better. The setting and plot line appeal to me. But, like you, I am overwhelmed with the large stacks of books I want to get to. Plus, we are building me a writing studio and that is a huge job. It’s so small, less than 100 sf ,yet its creation is moving inexplicably ponderously slow. Have a great holiday!

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