Book Review: The Witch of Portobello

Synopsis according to GoodReads:
"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."


The Witch of Portobello is the first Paul Coelho novel I've read. I've heard a lot of amazing things about the author and how his books are thought-provoking. This one, for me....it was pretty meh.


The story is more or less a fictional biography told by multiple people. It centers around a restless female character who is incredibly unknowable, partly because the story never takes place in her head and partly because none of the narrators are intimates of hers, so we don't understanding her motives from a personal point of view. This frankly made it difficult to care about her journey, or believe in the authenticity of her pagan message.


Another honesty- this book's messages were nothing new to me. I've been a student of faith (in its many forms, around the world and across the epochs), so there were no 'aha' moments here. Others may find it more profound, but I confess I struggled to care about it.


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