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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
Really well written book totally transported me to post war FrAnce Was not expecting the outcome
Romantic family drama had me enthralled
Published 20 months ago by David

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plodding and slow
I hardly ever fail to finish a book but The Gypsy Madonna brought me close. I thought it would be a light fluffy read for my holidays but I was bored within the first few chapters. I kept going in the hope that htings would improve but the pacing never picked up and the main characters just became more and more annoying. The only saving grace for this book were the minor...
Published on 26 Feb. 2007 by L. Hogan


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plodding and slow, 26 Feb. 2007
By 
L. Hogan (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Gypsy Madonna (Paperback)
I hardly ever fail to finish a book but The Gypsy Madonna brought me close. I thought it would be a light fluffy read for my holidays but I was bored within the first few chapters. I kept going in the hope that htings would improve but the pacing never picked up and the main characters just became more and more annoying. The only saving grace for this book were the minor characters, such as the staff and guests at the hotel where much of the story plays out. The main characters were stiff and one dimensional. If you are looking for something like Joanne Harris' earlier books then dont look here!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love story with underlying mystery, 23 Dec. 2008
This review is from: The Gypsy Madonna (Paperback)
Another enjoyable read from Santa Montefiore, a love story with an underlying mystery. Mischa is the protagonist, born during WWII in France to Anouk and her German husband. After the liberation they are ostracized by the majority of the villagers in Maurillac where they live and work in a local chateau. Mischa has been severely effected and the trauma is thought to be the reason for his inability to speak. He has no friends apart from Pistou, a young ghost whom only he sees, a young local girl Claudine and Joy a regular guest at the chateau.
When Coyote a mysterious and enchanting American turns up at the chateau with his guitar he has a dramatic effect on the lives of Anouk and Mischa. So much changes with his arival and they leave France for a new life in America with him.
It is only after his mother's death many years later that Mischa discovers and unravels a mystery from his childhood involving a valuable unrecorded painting by a famous artist.

A good book to curl up with for an easy and relaxing read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible rubbish, 13 Sept. 2012
This review is from: The Gypsy Madonna (Paperback)
Our book club read this, and 9 of our 10 members declared it as 'rubbish' - the first book we overwhlemingly disliked. 3 members gave up without finishing it, declaring, as one put it, "Life is too short to waste it on reading such rubbish." In deference to my fellow book club members, I slogged all the way to the ridiculous end of the book.

The main character, Mischa, continually morphs through the book as Santafiore tries to cram stereotype after stereotype into the book. He is alternately disabled child, violent gangster, sophisticated antiques dealer, enigmatic tortured soul, and of course throughout a supposedly gifted lover irresistible to all women. Every woman he meets automatically wants to make love to him. The lovemaking scenes are so badly written as to be laughable; in one the description stops abruptly to point out the lady was wearing a gray tweed skirt. After another, the lady declares, "I thought I had lost such sensuality in the banal domesticity of life." Oh brother...

A key figure in the book is an American called Coyote Jack Magellan, who is so unbelievably badly contrived as to be toe-curling. He wears a cowboy hat, plays guitar, and mesmerises all he meets with renditions of "Streets of Laredo," despite that song not having been popular for decades, he not being a cowboy or having ever lived in the Western States, and so on. As an ex-pat American, I had to wonder if Montefiore had actually ever met any Americans. Brits may understand how badly devised this character is by thinking of Dick Van Dyke's stereotyped Cockney in "Mary Poppins." Yes, that bad. We also have stereotyped retired wealthy English ladies, New York Jews, lovable Hispanics, an evil priest, a gallant Nazi officer, a blues-playing old African-American man, and that's not all. Montefiore's descriptions of American locations are also badly done and wildly inaccurate, and at the same time, she has her American characters using expressions that are purely British. As I say, she must have never met any Americans nor visited there.

The "mystery" is no mystery at all; I knew what the outcome was by about page 50, which also made slogging through the next 200 pages no fun. The only real mystery is how this book got published. Several of us noted it easily made our "Top Ten Worst Reads List" and would likely never be nudged off it. One member thought it would at least be a decent 'beach read' and was disappointed even at that low an expectation.

The basic idea could have been worked into a fascinating novel. It wasn't. If I could give it no stars or a half a star, I would. Avoid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 18 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Gypsy Madonna (Kindle Edition)
Really well written book totally transported me to post war FrAnce Was not expecting the outcome
Romantic family drama had me enthralled
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonus - Received Signed Hardback, 16 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Gypsy Madonna (Hardcover)
Yes I had previewed the book while on holiday as it was available on the bookshelf in our room and so it has come up to expectation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Gypsy Madonna by Santa Montefiore, 28 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Gypsy Madonna (Paperback)
This author has never disappointed me. At first I bought her
books for holiday reading now she is real comfort food. I
feel really deprived if I don't have one to read beside my bed.
They arrive well packed and within a few days of order.
Amazon really are good value.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Gypsy Madonna, 22 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Gypsy Madonna (Paperback)
Another great book by Santa Montefiore - I love her style of writing and how she captures the characters and spins a wonderful story. I am so pleased that I discovered this author and look forward to reading everyone of her books - I can't wait.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tracie warwickshire, 27 Aug. 2012
By 
Mrs. Tracey Ireland (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Gypsy Madonna (Kindle Edition)
Another fantastic book from Santa The story just draws you in and before you know it your at the end . Woundrefull highly recommend this if you enjoyed her books like the butterfly box .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book well worth reading, 31 May 2015
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This review is from: The Gypsy Madonna (Paperback)
Loved this story as it gave an insight into what went on in France during and after Second World War.
Kept my interest right to the end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Gypsy Madonna, 4 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Gypsy Madonna (Kindle Edition)
A lovely novel that was well paced and its characters were well drawn - great book to enjoy on winter's evening.
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