The Girl You Left Behind begins in France in 1916.
Most of the men from a small French village are off fighting in the war and the Germans have occupied the village. One of the women left behind, Sophie, is left to deal with this occupation of not only the village, but also her family inn and restaurant.
Louisa Clark lives in a small English town with her parents, grandfather, sister and nephew. She has no secondary education, the cafe where she waits on tables closes, and when her father loses his job, it's up to Lou to become the family provider. She takes a job as a caregiver for Will, a formerly larger-than-life man in his 30s who is now confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic.