Friday, January 11, 2008

Reading - The Witch of Portobello

The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho



An orphaned Romanian gypsy, adopted as an infant by adoring Lebanese parents, Sherine Khalil, aka Athena, finds the worship meeting she's leading—where she becomes an omniscient goddess named Hagia Sophia—disrupted by a Protestant protest. Framed as a set of interviews conducted with those who knew Athena, who is dead as the book opens, the story recounts her birth in Transylvania to a Gypsy mother.

Her short, early marriage to a man she meets at a London college (one of the interviewees); her son Viorel's birth; and her stint selling real estate in Dubai. Back in London in the book's second half, Athena learns to harness the powers that have been present but inchoate within her, and the story picks up as she acquires a "teacher" (Deidre O'Neill, aka Edda, another interviewee), then disciples (also interviewed), and speeds toward a spectacular end. Coelho veers between his signature criticism of modern life and the hydra-headed alternative that Athena taps into.

1 comment:

aart hilal said...

Hello!
I also enjoyed this book a lot!
Have you heard that Paulo is inviting readers to adapt his book to the movie screen?
It's really exiting!
Here's the link of the contest called The Experimental Witch:
EXPERIMENTAL WITCH BY PAULO COELHO

Have a great day
Aart