Source: Free review copy via Amazon Vine
Author: Paulo Coelho
first line: Every morning, when I open my eyes to the so-called “new day”, I feel like closing them again, staying in bed, and not getting up.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
Linda knows she’s lucky.
Yet every morning when she opens her eyes to a so-called new day, she feels like closing them again.
Her friends recommend medication.
But Linda wants to feel more, not less.
And so she embarks on an adventure as unexpected as it is daring, and which reawakens a side of her that she – respectable wife, loving mother, ambitious journalist – thought had disappeared.
Even she can’t predict what will happen next…
Having heard such wonderful things about Paulo Coelho I had been eager to read his work.
What I found within these pages was shocking on the surface, but as I kept reading and delved in a bit deeper, I found much more.
The story is narrated by Linda, who seems to have everything, a loving husband, two children, a successful career as a journalist and financial stability. The story is set in Geneva, Switzerland.
However, Linda is unhappy, loneliness is at the core of her problems. She can’t sleep at night, she feels unfulfilled and she has guilt over feeling this way.
One day Linda interviews Jacob, an ex boyfriend turned politician, and this meeting changes her life forever as she begins a dangerous extramarital affair with this married man.
I found Linda to be not only an un-likeable character, but also an unreliable narrator. I read in shock at her behavior because she just seemed to be so out of control and selfish. I also wondered if Coelho just wanted to stun the reader at times. Reading Linda’s story was kind of like watching a train wreck occur, you do not want to look, but you cannot remove your eyes from it.
Linda just keeps spiraling out of control, but all the while I found the author portrays her loneliness and her inner turmoil brilliantly.
I feel nothing. I think nothing. I get straight into my car and drive, not knowing exactly where I should go. No one is waiting for me at the end of the journey. Melancholy has become apathy.
p.106 Adultery by Paulo Coelho
She becomes somewhat obsessed with Jacob and some of her actions were truly hard to believe as she nearly dives off the deep end even trying to frame his wife. This is a woman who is depressed and looking for happiness in the wrong places, I wondered how it would all end for her.
I thought Coelho did a great job when writing about the act of adultery itself all the while giving the story depth. This woman is committing this act, and you see how it branches out and affects everyone around her. Although I do not buy the “genetic code” explanation in the snippet below, I do agree with the second half of this quote about it being a theft. I do not like hearing that men cheat because they “can’t help it” or because it’s in their nature to “spread their seed”, that is a cop out excuse.
Men cheat because it’s in their genetic code. A woman does it because she doesn’t have enough dignity; in addition to handing over her body, she always ends up handing over a bit of heart. A true crime. A theft. It’s worse than robbing a bank, because if one day she is discovered (and she always is), she will cause irreparable damage to her family.
p.167, Adultery by Paulo Coelho
Adultery was an uncomfortable read and my first foray into this authors work. I recommend it if you are in the mood for something not only shocking but with some depth as the author goes into the mind of a depressed individual. This is not a happy read, and it is one that left me unsettled. Coelho’s writing is engaging and demands your attention.
About the author:
One of the most influential writers of our time, Paulo Coelho is the author of many international best sellers, including The Alchemist, Aleph, Eleven Minutes, and Manuscript Found in Accra. Translated into 80 languages, his books have sold more than 165 million copies in more than 170 countries. He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and has received the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur. In 2007, he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free copy of Adultery by Paulo Coelho via AmazonVine.