The woman who belonged to the 22nd century

The book tells of a woman who was constantly destroying and rebuilding herself. Everything in her life followed the same pattern: From lost to found

Jan 26, 2018-On any day, I would rather read a famous novel, instead of using gadgets for endless hours or go partying. I love reading.

Most recently, I finished reading one of the bestselling books by one of the bestselling authors in the world—The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho. I wanted to read the book through my winter vacation, but it didn’t take me so long. It was so good and I got so hooked that nothing else seemed interesting in front of it. I couldn’t get my hands off the book and hence I read it for two consecutive days. By the third morning, I had already finished reading it.

The Witch of Portobello is neither a biography, nor is it an opinion penned by the author. What makes it interesting is that it is an account of what people had to say about the experiences or their notions about the protagonist of the book. 

It is based on what random people narrated to the author about the ‘the witch’. 

The book tells the story of a Romani orphan who lived in London with her Lebanese parents. She belonged to a refugee family. Sherine Khalil, nicknamed Athena, was a globe trotter. And the stops she made, give a sense of the unique struggles of the respective country.

The novel feels very diverse as it portrays an interesting narrative structure. The storytelling through several dozen characters that have been touched by Athena throughout her life, before it was cut short by a violent murder, gives this book a unique variation. 

Athena is a character that was always ready walk out of her comfort zone. She seemed ever ready to confront the winds, the thunder, and the lightning that life can bring, over and again, all by her own choice.

The book tells of a woman who was constantly destroying and rebuilding herself. Everything in her life followed the same pattern: From lost to found; from separation to new love; from working in a bank to selling real estate in the desert, she was always moving from one point to another. The only thing that is consistent throughout is her son, the connecting thread. 

Athena is a character that was never content while alive. Nothing could quiet her restless soul; nothing could bring her peace of mind—not even reaching the vertex in her career of dance or calligraphy. She only found peace when she went on to teach people the art of bringing the soul, and the immensely rich world it carries, to the surface. 

That’s why the writer describes her as a woman of the 22nd century living in the 21st, and making no secret of the fact either. That was Athena’s biggest flaw—she never belonged anywhere or to anybody. 

“…Perhaps you came too early, and people aren’t ready yet.”

I immensely enjoyed the book because it talks about free love, which is like a river which overflows its banks, which is above all the concept we associate with love, which is far from desire, possession, or betray.

The book also discusses about the spiritual philosophies of traditional witchcraft. It opens up a whole new world. I really loved this book. I would recommend this book to every kind of readers. Try not to miss it.

Samriddhi Karki

Grade 9

Grammar Public School

Published: 26-01-2018 08:20

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