The Witch of Portobello …a review

I just finished reading this book and I must admit, I was a little disappointed. It started off very well with a little girl, Sherine, renaming herself Athena, reporting visions of angels and saints, and predicting the onset of unrest and civil war. She grows up into a mysterious young woman, sort of like a witch.

Here, however, the narration loses charm and the people, her mother, a journalist, an ex-husband, who speak of her, seem detached. I felt that the tale had great potential and the sub-plot of her visit to her birth mother along with her son could have been elaborated upon. Questions typical of Paulo Coelho, “Who are we? Where do we come from? Where do we go?”, are interspersed throughout the book. Answers, I wasn’t too sure of. When there is a witch in the picture I expect to find a little more clarity, a little more magic.

So yes, I wouldn’t recommend this book highly but for an in-between read, like it was for me, it is fairly good.

Quote: “Women always identify with one of the four classic archetypes:
The Virgin, whose search springs from her complete independence and everything she learns, is a fruit of her ability to face challenges alone.
The Martyr finds her way to self-knowledge through pain, surrender and suffering.
The Saint, find her true reason for living in unconditional love and her ability to give without her asking anything in return.
The Witch justifies her existence by going in search of complete and limitless pleasure.”

“When I die, bury me standing, because I’ve spent all my life on my knees!” ~ Gypsy saying.

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