The Gypsy Madonna: what is her secret? Mischa knows what it is to be abandoned. His German father disappeared at the end of the war, leaving him and his mother to endure the hatred and contempt of all the French villagers, the two of them against the world. And his surrogate father vanishes too, with no word of explanation. Mischa bears these scars into manhood. Only when his mother dies, revealing the existence of a priceless masterpiece, does he go on the trail of his own history. He makes a pilgrimage into the past, to that French village of his childhood, and there he uncovers the secret of the Gypsy Madonna.