Two people ride together in sunset

Top 5 Jojo Moyes books

By BBC Maestro

Jojo Moyes is one of the best-known and best-loved authors of romantic fiction, with a career as a full-time novelist that spans over 20 years. Her first novel was published in 2002, and since then, her books have been translated into forty-six languages. They’ve also been best-sellers in twelve different countries and have sold over fifty million copies worldwide.

With such a stellar career, there’s a lot to delve into – so much, in fact, that you might be wondering where to start. So, if you’re new to Jojo’s work, here’s our list of the top Jojo Moyes novels to add to your ‘must-read’ list.

Me Before You

If you’ve only heard of one Jojo Moyes book, it’s probably this one. Me Before You was released in 2012 and has sold over 14 million copies worldwide.

In 2016, was made into a major film starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke, further cementing its place as the classic Jojo Moyes book.

The story centres around two main characters, Lou Clark and Will Traynor. Lou is the optimistic, small-town girl who finds herself a job as the caregiver to Will, who was previously adventurous and ambitious, but is now bitter and pessimistic after an accident.

It’s a heart-wrenching love story with compelling characters and emotional topics. You’ll find it hard to put down – but be sure to have a stack of tissues nearby, as it’s a guaranteed tearjerker.

The Last Letter from Your Lover

Jojo Moyes is one of only a handful of authors to win the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelist’s Association. Her first win came in 2004 for Foreign Fruit, and she won again in 2011 for The Last Letter from Your Lover, with the judges praising the novel for its “exquisite writing” and “blissfully satisfying ending”.

The novel is set during two time periods, following the parallel stories of 1960s homemaker Jennifer Stirling and 2000s journalist Ellie Haworth. In both narratives, the women discover a series of love letters that lead them each on a path of exploration.

As the timelines interweave, Jennifer and Ellie discover much both about themselves and about the power of romantic love.

Jojo Moyes is well-known for her ability to craft emotionally profound stories, and The Last Letter from Your Lover is no exception. If you’re looking for a book that combines romance, mystery, and historical fiction, this is one to add to your TBR (to be read) pile.

The Giver of Stars

This 2019 book is a piece of historical fiction, set in Depression-era Kentucky. It follows Alice Wright, who leaves her life in a small English town to marry American businessman Bennett Van Cleve, settling in rural Kentucky.

When she finds that life in small-town Kentucky is just as stifling as the town she left behind, she starts to look for adventure and meaning in her life. And she finds it, in the form of Margery O’Hare and the other women of the Pack Horse Library Project – a real-life initiative to bring books, delivered on horseback, to the rural communities of the Appalachian Mountains.

It offers a fascinating glimpse into what life was like in 1930s America, particularly for women. The novel follows four plucky women who, although they’re all quite different characters, defied societal norms and forged their own paths – and their friendship is at the very heart of the story.

Sheltering Rain

It all started with Sheltering Rain – so if you’re planning to read Jojo Moyes’ books in order, this, her first novel, is the place to start.

The story follows three generations of the same family: Joy, her estranged daughter Kate, and Kate’s daughter Sabine. When they come together on a rural Irish farm, for the first time in a long time, each woman is forced to confront family secrets they’d tried to forget about.

The dual narrative of the novel – with one timeline set in the present and one in the past – allows us to discover the family’s secrets as the protagonists too, making it a gripping page-turner that’s engrossing until the very end.

The Girl You Left Behind

This is another historical novel, exploring the story of Sophie Lefevre. As her husband Edouard fights on the French front line in 1916, Sophie is left behind at their hotel, where she’s forced to serve German officers every evening. One of them, the Kommandant, is captivated by the portrait of Sophie her husband had painted before he left, called ‘The Girl You Left Behind.’

In the present day, young widow Liv Halston is now the owner of the painting. When she discovers its history, it launches her into a fight for the things she loves the most – a battle that’s incredibly similar to what Sophie, too, was fighting for.

As the story progresses, we gradually discover more and more of the stories that connect these two women, and we find out along with Liv what became of Sophie. Exploring love, loss, and the enduring impact of both, the novel is unputdownable, thanks to the intriguing storyline and two compelling main characters.

These are just five of Jojo Moyes’ sixteen books, but they’re a great starting point for anyone interested in reading stories about love, friendship, and family dynamics. And, if you want to find out how to write love stories that will sweep readers off their feet, who better to learn from than Jojo herself? Check out her BBC Maestro course, Writing Love Stories.

Give the gift of knowledge

Surprise a special someone with a year's access to BBC Maestro or gift them a single course.

Thanks for signing up to receive your free lessons

Check your inbox - they’re on the way!

Oops! Something went wrong

Please try again later

FREE video lesson: Why writing about love will have your readers hooked

Learn with award-winning author, Jojo Moyes