Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Review: The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho

The Witch of Portobello
Paulo Coelho
Harper Collins May 15, 2007
320 Pages
Source: Library
**** Stars
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How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves—even if we are unsure of whom we are?
That is the central question of international bestselling author Paulo Coelho's profound new work, The Witch of Portobello. It is the story of a mysterious woman named Athena, told by the many who knew her well—or hardly at all.



My Review

I read this book in one sitting.  That's how captivated I was with the character.  When I first started reading, I really and truly thought it was meant to be an autobiography. Only when I got to the end, did I realize that-duh! It was all a part of the storytelling. Nope, I don't feel foolish at all!   I very much enjoyed Mr. Coelho's writing. Learning about Athena in past tense, through stories told by the people who knew her; I think that's what kept me engaged in the story.  She's like some mythical, mystical creature that aroused so many people to delve into the unknown, unexplored parts of themselves. Never staying too long, only long enough to turn your world upside down and then vanish into the night.  While everyone is left wondering if they were trapped in some weird dream.

It's not very often that I read a book that leaves me pondering after I've completed it.  I was truly bewitched with the storytelling!  And boy did it leave me wondering...was she just some crazy woman? Did she really posses the powers she believed she had?  I guess to answer my own question she did believe it.  Otherwise she wouldn't have garnered such a following.  Aside from the story itself, I could feel the message Mr. Coelho wove into the plot.  The messages of 'power of intention' and 'believe and you will achieve' were loud and clear.  It was quite empowering given the main character is a woman.

I'm glad I picked this up.  A unique story told with an equally unique and talented voice.  With substance, depth and a natural enigmatic quality The Witch of Portobello is one all fans of literary fiction will devour.

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