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The artist Valentine Blyth has a very generous heart. He lovingly cares for his invalid wife, rescues a deaf orphan girl from maltreatment in a traveling circus and adopts her, and mentors a young man who gets in trouble with his tyrannical father. The girl, who received the nickname ‚Madonna’, falls in love with the young man, Zack. Because one of Valentine’s biggest fears is that Madonna’s blood relations will one day trace her and take her away from his home, he keeps the little that he knows of her origins a strict secret. One day, Zack befriends a mysterious stranger, who has just returned from years of rough life in the American wilderness. From that moment, the plot thickens, in mid-19th century dramatic style. This is Wilkie Collins’ third published novel (1854, read from the 1861 edition).
Loved listening to this book - the narrator did a great job and the plot and characters were intriguing. I was happy to find another Wilkie Collins novel as he is a favorite of mine. Enjoy!