The Witch of Portobello – Abby’s Book Review

ImageYou stare at it after reading the last line just like how you stare blankly into space while the credits of a great movie you’ve just watched is rolling.

Athena, the main character, is a single mother. She was adopted. She married before she turned 20. She got separated.  She learned to dance so she could create a relationship with the universe or the cosmos or whatever you want to call it. She taught this dance to her colleagues at the bank and profits dramatically increased. That was a lot to take for the first, say, 50 pages of the book. You will truly enjoy the next 200.

I was able to relate with the main character the moment I read the line “because my whole life, I suffered in silence.” Expect to feel discouraged most especially if you are impatient. You will realize that you have spent hours reading and you still don’t know what is going on because, first of all, the book consists of countless sentences and a series of narrations that you need to sew together yourself. You will be worried, in love, shocked and still you won’t know what is going on.

Paulo Coelho succeeded, once again, on tapping on millions of different characters from all over the world just because of something that the human race has in common – there is a point in our lives where we are unsure of who we are.

Just like Veronika Decides to Die, this book is once again a search for the meaning of one’s existence. You sometimes feel that you are better off just being you, which is on all accounts good. But you grow. And as you grow, you grumble about different things.  Athena was adopted, among all other spaces she wants to fill up, and instead of grumbling, she goes on a quest. Think gypsies. Think witches. Think dancing naked. Think divine interventions of a Universal Mother. Think predicting the future. And of course, the good old mob of angry people will be an element, too. The “mob” part was fun and funny.

Athena followed her heart’s desires and hang the cost. There will even be times that her impulsiveness and silence will sink a chip on your shoulder. You will read this book over and over again until it gets to your core.


You can’t measure love the way you can the length of the road or the height of a building.” You did at some point, right? There is always someone who you love more and love less. There will always be something that you will love doing more than the other. Love should not be measured because it should have no end. If you think there is something or someone that you love, just push your emotions to its limits. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

Turn your confusions into quests. Turn your complaints into requests. Turn those spaces into dreams. Eventually, you will learn how to turn hate into love.


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