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Paulo Coelho's The Witch of Portobello and Brida

The Witch of Portobello, Paulo Coelho

Preview by Jack Foley

THE WITCH OF PORTOBELLO

FROM one of the world’s best loved storytellers, Paulo Coelho, comes a riveting novel tracing the mysterious life and disappearance of Athena, dubbed ‘the Witch of Portobello’, which was a top 10 Sunday Times bestseller in hardback.

This is the story of Athena, or Sherine, to give her the name she was baptised with. Her life is pieced together through a series of recorded interviews with those people who knew her well or hardly at all – parents, colleagues, teachers, friends, acquaintances, her ex-husband.

The novel unravels Athena’s mysterious beginnings, via an orphanage in Romania, to a childhood in Beirut. When war breaks out, her adoptive family move with her to London, where a dramatic turn of events occurs!

Athena, who has been dubbed ‘the Witch of Portobello’ for her seeming powers of prophecy, disappears dramatically, leaving those who knew her to solve the mystery of her life and abrupt departure.

Like The Alchemist, The Witch of Portobello is the kind of story that will transform the way readers think about love, passion, joy and sacrifice.

BRIDA

Brida, Paulo Coelho

The spellbinding new novel from one of the world’s best-loved authors, Paulo Coelho, recounts the story of Brida and her pursuit of wisdom.

This is the story of Brida, a young Irish girl, and her quest for knowledge. She has long been interested in various aspects of magic, but is searching for something more.

Her search leads her to people of great wisdom, who begin to teach her about the world. Her teachers sense that Brida has a gift, but cannot tell what that is.

Meanwhile, Brida pursues her course ever deeper into the mysteries of life, seeking to answer questions about who she is. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, and teaches her about overcoming her fears and trusting in the goodness of the world, and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world, and how to pray to the moon.

She seeks her destiny, as she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch. This enthralling novel incorporates themes fans of Paulo will love. It is a tale of love, passion, mystery and spirituality.