The Witch of Portobello, Paulo Coehlo

Oh, this started out so promisingly.  I loved the idea of a bunch of different people telling the story of this one women.  I loved how the book would create a space around her that would leave you wondering and wondering what she was thinking all along – like The Moonstone does with Rachel, you know?  There are several different narrators, and they all talk about the mysterious, recently-murdered Athena.  The witch of Portobello.

I was thrilled!  I thought Paulo Coehlo was my Next Big Thing!  However, the book ended up sort of preachy, and the dialogue fell prey to the translation problem.  I can’t stand preachy books, especially when I can glimpse behind the preaching a potentially cool and intriguing plotline.  And every time I started to get interested, someone would be all, Why do people love this male god of rules?  They should open themselves up, this and that, loving wisdom of the mother goddess, blah blah blah, sin does not exist, yadda yadda yadda.  It’s not that I disagreed with everything; I just didn’t care.  LET US GET BACK TO THE PLOT.  And Athena was supposed to be this bright vivid character but she wasn’t interesting at all.  Oh, and the surprising surprise at the end?  Totally saw it coming.  (Cause I read the end after five pages.)

So oh well.  Paulo Coehlo is not my Next Big Thing, and unless any of you wants my copy of The Witch of Portobello, I’m going to post it on PaperbackSwap.

(My Next Big Thing appears to be BBC films.  We’ll see how this goes.)

Other, possibly more thoughtful, reviews:

Book Nook Club
Ramya’s Bookshelf
The Bookling
Loud Latin Laughing
Lynda’s Book Blog
It’s All About Me

Let me know if I missed yours!