In 1916, Sophie is helping her sister run the family hotel in a small village now occupied by the Germans. The villagers are completely under the thumb of the occupiers and experience all kinds of suffering and deprivation at the hands of the Germans. The portrait now hangs near the cafe in the hotel and comes to the attention of the German Kommandant. He is an art connoisseur who is taken with the strength and spirit that emanates from the girl in the portrait. Sophie comes to realize that she can use the portrait to gain a reunion with Edouard, who has now become a prisoner of war, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to be reunited with her husband.
Nearly one hundred years later, Sophie's portrait is given to a young British woman by her husband and is treasured by her in a special way since her beloved husband has died suddenly and unexpectedly after giving her the gift. She is stunned when, some years later, the painting is subject to a request from the heirs of Edouard Lefevre, who claim that the painting was looted by war criminals and should rightfully be returned to the estate.
Liv Halston honestly doesn't know the history of the painting, doesn't know it's value, but her gut feeling is that it belongs to her. The battle for ownership of the painting becomes public, and gets ugly as the publicity paints Liv in a most unfavorable light.
This novel is a portrait of women who are willing to risk everything for love, as well as the complex and sometimes shadowy provenance of art works which change hands during war time.
A really good story with an excellent and ultimately very hopeful ending, in my humble opinion.