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The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho

The Witch of Portobello (original 2006; edition 2008)

by Paulo Coelho

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2,553582,362 (3.29)75
Title:The Witch of Portobello
Authors:Paulo Coelho
Info:Harper Perennial (2008), Paperback, 312 stránok
Collections:Your library

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The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho (2006)

  1. 10
    The Zahir by Paulo Coelho (leosabana)
    leosabana: Tiene frases realmente hermosas, que te ayudarán en el día a día; que te aportarán ánimos cuando no veas luz.

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English (51)  Spanish (4)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
This book is fantastic and mystical. The characters take you on a journey of this woman's life that is truly amazing, awakening a desire to explore your own spirituality. ( )
  BridgettKathryn | Sep 6, 2015 |
I quit on this one...couldn't get excited about the story. I'm disappointed - I thought the structure of the book was intriguing: story is told from the perspectives of various people who knew the title character - but it got old fast & I found I didn't care about either the narrators or the main character. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood at this time.
  mfdavis | May 20, 2015 |
I just couldn't get into this book. I didn't identify with the characters, nor did I care much about anything they were doing. This was incredibly boring.
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
I think the author meant for this novel to be one of those big, important, spiritual books that changes the lives of the readers. Sadly, it doesn’t.

It had the potential; a young woman gets in touch with her spiritual self and starts channeling the goddess Hagia Sophia. The back of the book says, in part, that the story will “transform the way readers think about love, passion, joy and sacrifice”. But it misses the mark.

The Witch, Sherine Khalil (who takes the name Athena), is born to and abandoned by a Gypsy woman. She is then adopted by Christian parents in the Middle East, and eventually brought up partly in England. She gets jobs easily in spite of not being trained for them (including one that makes her very well off). She marries and has a child, then divorces the man. The church won’t allow her to take Holy Communion after her divorce, so she takes up her own spirituality. She stumbles into a group that seeks enlightenment through unrhythmic dance. She develops followers, everyone loves her, even a woman whose lover falls in love with Athena… and she values none of it except the child. She gives up pretty much everything, but it’s not sacrifice if she doesn’t value what she gives up- and it turns out in the end that she doesn’t give up as much as we think. I never get the feeling that she feels passion about much of anything. She just sort of wanders through life. She’s not afraid to try new things, and I admired that, but for the most part I just couldn’t understand her.

The story is told through “interviews” with the various people in her life- her birth mother, her adoptive parents, her ex-husband, the journalist who falls in love with her, everyone who has been around at the important events of her life. This may be part of the problem with the book; we never get to know
Athena’s thoughts and feelings directly. In a way, it made me think of the structure of the New Testament- we read a lot about Jesus but we never hear from him directly. Perhaps the author intended to make Athena the daughter of the great Goddess. But if she is, she’s a very stand off-ish deity.

Coelho is one of those authors that I had heard great things about and so I was quite disappointed. I may still try reading ‘The Alchemist” since that’s supposed to be his best work, but can only give this book three stars. ( )
  dark_phoenix54 | Jan 5, 2015 |
När jag läste denna bok för flera år sedan så tänkte jag att jag hade aldrig läst något liknande någonsin. Både skrift och innehåll var för mig något helt nytt. Bara måste läsas. ( )
  annie.orstrom | Sep 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (72 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paulo Coelhoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Janssen, PietTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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O Mary conceived without sin,
pray for those who turn to you.


No man, when he hath lighted a candle,
putteth it in a secret place,
neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick,
that they which come in may see the light.

--Luke 11:33
Dla S. F. X. - słońca, które rozsiało światłość i ciepło wszędzie, gdzie zawitało; wzoru dla tych, którzy sięgają myślą poza swoje horyzonty.

For S.F.X.,

a sun who spread light and
warmth wherever he went,
and was an example to all those
who think beyond their horizons
First words
No one lights a lamp in order to hide it behind the door: the purpose of light is to create more light, to open people's eyes, to reveal the marvels around.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061338818, Paperback)

How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves—even if we are unsure of who 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. 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:31 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Traces the life of Athena, an abandoned daughter of a Transylvania gypsy, in a tale told from the viewpoints of such characters as her adoptive journalist mother, a teacher of calligraphy, and an actress.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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