Witch of Portobello

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THE WITCH OF PORTOBELLO
BY PAOLO COELHO

"Most of those persons condemned were convicted on the basis of spectral evidence –that is to say, prosecuting witnesses declared that they felt the presence of evil spirits or heard spirit voices" (pg. 2, Paulo Coelho). "The Witch of Portobello" by the renowned Brazilian author Paulo Coelho is a novel about love, passion, joy, spirituality, and sacrifice. The circular structure of this story is very fascinating. There are really several narrators that tell the story of Sherine Khalil (better known as Athena) in their own points of view. The main narrators are Heron Ryan (journalist), Andrea McCain (actress), and Deidre O'Neill (doctor, better known as Edda).

"No one lights a lamp in order to hide it behind a door: the purpose of light is to create more light, to open people's eyes, to reveal the marvels around. No one sacrifices the most important thing she possesses: love. No one places her dreams in the hands of those who might destroy them. No one, that is, but Athena." (pg. 2-3, Paolo Coelho) This phrase, said by Heron Ryan, is the hook of the story. The deepness achieved by the author is so great, that it really catches the reader to prove it will be an inspiring story. He also gives a sense of mystery –Who is Athena? -What happened to her? –How did they know each other? Well, as the book goes on, Heron explains that he was in Transylvania because he is sent to investigate about Count Dracula's legend. There, he met Athena as she was trying to track down who her real mother was. He suddenly loses the reader as he says (not explaining the way or place they met) that he loved Athena deeply and profoundly; tragically she was savagely murdered for a still unknown reason and he wants to remember her. Coelho writes: "That love led me to see things I'd never imagined could exist –rituals, materializations, trances. […] When the meeting in Portobello started to get out of control, we had endless arguments about how...
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