'After her mother's death in 2005, Anne Summers inherits a portrait of her mother as a child. Mesmerised by this image, she finds herself drawn into the story of how the portrait was painted and eventually found its way into her family. She soon learns the artist painted another portrait of her mother; this time as the Madonna.
'In a gripping narrative that is part art history, part detective story and part meditation on the relations between mothers and daughters, Anne's search for the Madonna painting and the mysterious Russian émigré collector who bought both paintings takes her down unexpected paths. Her search soon turns into a parallel quest to rescue Constance Stokes, the artist, from obscurity, and to learn why the collector suddenly abandoned the paintings. Along the way Anne finds she must face the truth of the relationship she had with her mother.' (Provided by the publisher.)