Professor Suzanne Cunningham hasn't returned to Italy since the flood of 1966. She is thrilled when an old friend offers her the opportunity to teach art history in Florence, and begins preparing for the courses she will teach. Much to her surprise, she finds a reference to a painting she helped restore after the flood, a painting that is now listed as lost in that very same flood. Suzanne will have to travel back into her past memories to a time when her love for art restorer Stefano Leonetti inspired her current love of art itself. Suzanne will have to face her past in order to move on with her future....
THE LOST MADONNA is really two tales in one. First, it is the slow unwinding of what really happened on Suzanne's first journey to Italy as a young nineteen year old. Her experiences as a "mud angel", rescuing art during the flood, are just as important as her affair and love for Stefano at that time. Suzanne has lived a life shadowed by the events of her past and it is only now, as a middle aged woman, that she is venturing back to face what transpired. The second portion of the tale, interwoven with the revelations of past events, is Suzanne's journey back to love. Never has Suzanne loved another since Stefano, but Dr. Roberto Balducci touches something deep inside of Suzanne. Can she learn to love again?
THE LOST MADONNA is a compelling although sometimes meandering tale. There were moments when I was frustrated by the story's slow pace and yet Kelly Jones steadily drew me into the storyline so that I had to know how it would all end. Perhaps the most intriguing aspects were the glimpses, both past and present, which the author gave of Italy. The city of Florence is almost a character itself and Kelly Jones brings it to vivid life through her beautiful descriptions. THE LOST MADONNA is a bittersweet tale that will leave the reader with mixed emotions as the story concludes.
COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES