Book ten was an audiobook that I checked out from the library to listen to on my 45 minute commute each day. I finished it on the way back to the library to pick up the next audiobook on my list. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to an audiobook, since my drive time in Arizona was so short.
The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho, is the story of a woman’s life, told by those who knew her and were involved in the mysterious events that took place before her murder. Shireen, known as Athena, is discussed from her adoption as a baby to her marriage, divorce, reinvention and subsequent odd behavior as a manifestation of “the Mother”. The interviews with the wide cast of characters occur in roughly chronological order, and the audiobook version was read in different voices, complete with accents, which I found easy to follow.
I have mixed feelings about this one. It was well written, and the different characters’ personalities come through clearly in most cases. There were points where the “mystery” surrounding Athena got old. I was not prepared for the ending of the book, even though the book begins by talking about her murder. Halfway through the book, I had decided that I didn’t really like it, but by the end I was glad that I had finished it. A week later, I find myself still thinking about the ideas presented in the book, which is an indicator of a good read, to me.