Paulo Coehlo

Book Review: Adultery

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Adultery-Book Review-Anupriya Mishra

Author: Paulo Coelho

Publisher: Random House India

Price: INR 299

Pages: 287

My Rating: 3/5

Unlike other of Coehlo’s books that I have read, I hardly have much to say about this one. Coehlo seemed to deviate from the actual plot or probably he never had one. There is no storyline and you end up reading about a self-centered bizarre woman who chooses adultery despite being blessed with everything that a normal woman desires for. Certainly, you will have no sympathy for her or any agreement with her approach towards life.

“I have a wonderful husband who is not only madly in love with me, but also the owner of a large investment fundI have two children who are (as my friends say)my “reason for living”I enjoy my work. I’m a highly regarded journalist at a respectable newspaperOnce a year, I go on holiday with the whole family, usually to some far-flung paradise with marvelous beaches,where we stay in exotic cities inhabited by very poor people who make us feel richer, more privileged and more grateful for the blessings life has bestowed upon us.” (Pg. 1)  

However, when it comes to Paulo Coehlo’s writing, there’s always a reflection of you somewhere or the other. I enjoyed reading the opening pages of the book and probably that covers up for the entire thing. After all, who doesn’t need to break from the monotony of life. I’m sure at one point or the other, everyone needs to have some adventure, thrill and passion in life. And, this feeling has been described beautifully by Coehlo in the first few pages. However, there are better ways to come out of the boredom and take up challenges than it has been described in the book. As the story progresses, it becomes slightly unbearable and the climax completely ruins it.

Craving for some adventure and thrill in her life, Linda, the protagonist, falls for her high school boyfriend, resulting in an explicit relationship. There’s no regret in her despite knowing that she had not been loved or accepted by this man, but had been a mere entity of pleasure.

“Sin is followed by a fear of being caught.” “Not everyone needs to feel happy all the time. Besides, no one can be happy all the time.” “You don’t choose your life; it chooses you.” “A dream is always risky, for there is a price to pay.” 

Lots of unnecessary philosophies in support of this strange character have been used, which seems ironic. Trust me, I did not evaluate this book or the character as per social outlook. Despite reading it from all my heart and mind, I could not figure out till the end as to what was it that brought her back to her family, i.e. her loving husband and two adorable children. Secondly, was her want for some real adventure over? Thirdly, is this what Linda (or Coehlo) would call a real challenge?

“Sometimes, we need to hurt ourselves to heal ourselves.”

Linda might have felt the brunt of rejection, but was she really healed? I gave up on the storyline. Really!

I’m sure the next book by Mr. Coehlo would make up for this one.