The Road from Midnight, by Wendyl Nissen (Paul Little Books, RRP $29.95)
New Zealand-born Jane lives life in the limelight as editor of woman’s fashion magazines in both Australia and then back in Auckland, New Zealand.
She marries Lawrence who features on news channels in New Zealand and is seeking his next news assignment in whatever way he needs to.
They go off on a European train tour with their daughter Charlotte, 5, who disappears during an Italian overnight journey.
Jane refuses to leave Italy hoping Charlotte will return someday. Jane will not give up hope.
She prays to the Madonna daily and seeks refuge in Venice’s many churches for Charlotte to return to her. Lawrence eventually goes back to his glitzy life in New Zealand concluding Charlotte has gone for good.
In Italy Jane meets up with Marco, an old friend from New Zealand now living in Venice restoring churches.
She has a romantic encounter with the policeman heading Charlotte’s case who treats her to a lavish lifestyle of designer shopping, wining and dining and exploring the island of Italy of which his family own substantial landholdings.
Jane eventually returns to Marco in Venice where they plan a return visit to New Zealand to visit family. Marco has lived in Venice for years and Jane hasn’t seen her parents since Charlotte’s disappeared.
Jane sees Charlotte in an angel coming back to her in Venice.
Charlotte is adopted by a wealthy Russian man who lives in a private estate outside of St Petersburg.
Here she is cared for well by Nikolai and housekeeper Ola for several years in a sheltered quiet life.
Nokolai is grooming Charlotte, or Kayla, her Russian name for himself and three other wealthy businessmen to become their mistress and travel and entertain them at their request.
The author has captured you in a page-turning journey to all corners of the globe following the lives of these people and their liaisons until the dream Jane Lyndhurst had finally comes true and she’s reunited with her daughter after 15 years. She never gave up hope.