Sep 20, 2012

Book Review: The Devil's Madonna

Happily married and pregnant with her first child, artist Kali Miller probes Lillian Campbell, her ninety-three year old grandmother, for information about her roots and her mother’s accidental death when Kali was a child. But the impact on her grandmother and the answers that Kali gets are anything but what she expected. Kali’s questions intensify the profound paranoia that has dominated her grandmother’s adult life -- that someone from the past has found her – and with Kali’s demand for the truth, Lillian sinks into a life of nightmares and paralyzing fear. Will her life in 1930’s Berlin, her loves and lies, and the true meaning of the small painting that she has hidden for more than seventy years be exposed to reveal the hideous secret that has haunted Lillian to this day? Or will the hunt to uncover her past lead to the imminent murder of Lillian and her pregnant granddaughter? Perhaps murder is the only means to keep Kali and her unborn child from a future that no one in the world would ever want to face?

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Talk about an engrossing book.  With every secret that is revealed within THE DEVIL'S MADONNA the sense of eeriness increases and my respect for Kali grows.   

Kali is a modern day woman who is looking forward to the birth of her unborn child.  She has found the family that she felt she never had in her inlaws but she feels like an imposter because she keeps getting the niggling feeling that her own family history isn't complete.  But as she uncovers secrets about both her family, she also discovers disturbing truths about her marriage.  And the punches keep coming from both within and without.  And she discovers her own strength.

I very much enjoyed this book and felt that the pacing was perfect with just the right edge to keep me turning the pages faster and faster.  That is until the ending.  It felt rushed as though the author had ran up against her page limit.  This was a disappointing twist to a book that I otherwise would have rated higher.

I do recommend THE DEVIL'S MADONNA to readers that enjoy a suspenseful book filled with family secrets that cry out to be uncovered.  I rate this book a 3.1.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


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