The Gypsy Madonna by Santa Montefiore
The story begins with Misha who is an antiques-dealer in Manhattan. He discovers that his beloved dying mother, Anouk, possesses a Titian masterpiece when she tries to donate it to the Met, but they cannot authenticate the painting’s rightful owner. Misha’s stepfather Coyote, who abandoned Anouk and Misha 30 years earlier, reappears but Misha turns him away. Immediately full of questions, Misha decides to find out about the painting and to uncover the truth about his own history.
He returns to Bordeaux, the village he and Anouk left when Misha was seven. Until the war, Anouk had been a nanny at a private estate. After the war, the villagers denounced Anouk as a traitor for marrying Misha’s father, who was a German officer. Witnessing her brutal humiliation caused Misha to become mute. Anouk continued to work at the estate until the handsome American Coyote arrived. Anouk and Coyote fell in love and the affectionate attention that he gave to Misha helped to bring back his voice. Coyote then brought them to New Jersey, where they lived happily until one day Coyote, disappeared, leaving them devastated.
In Bordeaux, Misha learns that, that Coyote had not abandoned Misha and Anouk; he had been in prison for murder. Misha finds true love with Claudine, whom he first loved when he was six and who leaves her husband to return with Misha to America.
The Gypsy Madonna is a wonderful story of redemption and that it is never too late to make changes in life.