Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho (15/81)

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.
Among them:

"People create a reality and then become the victims of that reality. Athena rebelled against that—and paid a high price."Heron Ryan, journalist
"I was used and manipulated by Athena, with no consideration for my feelings. She was my teacher, charged with passing on the sacred mysteries, with awakening the unknown energy we all possess. When we venture into that unfamiliar sea, we trust blindly in those who guide us, believing that they know more than we do."Andrea McCain, actress

"Athena's great problem was that she was a woman of the twenty-second century living in the twenty-first, and making no secret of the fact, either. Did she pay a price? She certainly did. But she would have paid a still higher price if she had repressed her natural exuberance. She would have been bitter, frustrated, always concerned about 'what other people might think,' always saying, 'I'll just sort these things out, then I'll devote myself to my dream,' always complaining 'that the conditions are never quite right.'"Deidre O'Neill, known as Edda

Like The Alchemist, The Witch of Portobello is the kind of story that will transform the way readers think about love, passion, joy, and sacrifice.

This is the third book of Paulo Coelho that I have read ... And I have to say that The Alchemist is still my firm favourite ... I loved the cover of this novel ... And the concept to the story is very interesting as it is told from people who knew the main character of Athena ...

It is basically Athena's journey through life told from her friends and family ... Let me start by telling you the good things about the book ... It is littered with loads of stories and quotes which are as ever makes you stop and think ... Some of my favourites are

"What is a teacher? I'll tell you: it isn't someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows" Pg 88

"Look at a skilled blacksmith working steel. To the untrained eye, he's merely repeating the same hammer blows, but anyone trained in the art of calligraphy knows that each time the blacksmith lifts the hammer and rings it down, the intensity of the blow is different. The hand repeats the same gesture, but as it approaches the metal it understands that it must touch it with more or less force. It's the same things with repetition: it many seem the same, but it's always different. The moment will come when you no longer need to think about what you're doing" Pg 91

"Money brings happiness. Fine. In that case, everyone who earns enough to have a high standard of living would be able to stop work. But then they're more troubled than ever, as if they were afraid of losing everything. Money attracts money, that's true. Poverty might bring unhappiness, but money won't necessarily bring happiness" Pg 144

Ok they were among my favourite quotes ... But I have to say that I did struggle to finish this book and it took me alot longer than I thought .... I do know that the book is centred around Athena but I found her quite selfish ... I know that it is her journey but it seems that was all she cared about and she really didn't care about how it effected the people around her ... I do appreciate that you can lose yourself in dance and mediation but I think I would have found her abit weird if every second you see her that she just danced around the place ...

I know alot of people love Coelho's novels and The Alchemist still remains one of my favourites but I have struggled with his other novels ...

I rate this book 2**

Paulo Coelho talking about his novel

Here's a link to his blog :::

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