by Paulo Coelho
$7.99 Kindle version
Once upon a time, I worked in a Borders (a bookstore, for you younger kids that think everything comes from the internet). I remember that books by Paulo Coelho were best-sellers that we could hardly keep in stock, especially The Alchemist. A lot of customers told me how his book changed the way they look at life. There is definitely a depth to his books that you won’t find in “best-sellers” like 50 Shades of Grey.
So, I was surprised to find out he had written a book called Adultery, about adultery. Only it’s so much more than a story about a woman’s affair. In fact, the affair plays a very small part in the story. It’s more setting than plot…it’s also a great hook. Linda, a journalist living in Geneva, has a great life by most standards, but suddenly finds herself miserable when she realizes that her life lacks passion after a flip remark by an author during an interview. Basically, Linda is on her way to a midlife crisis.
“Today I am a woman torn between the terror that everything might change and the equal terror that everything might carry on exactly the same for the rest of my days.”
Around the same time, she reconnects with a college boyfriend who is now a well-known politician that she must interview. And, so, her affair begins…but the passion she finds does not bring her any real happiness.
The story is written in first person, almost as a confession, with brief chapters. This format had me racing through book, which is unusual for me, considering this isn’t a mystery-thriller or action-packed adventure. It’s just that the drama is so intense in the most personal way, I was genuinely worried about Linda’s marriage and her state of mind. The lady has some seriously dark thoughts run through her head at times.
Coelho does a superb job creating an atmosphere for Linda to come to terms with her life based on her adultery, without any explicit sex scenes. THAT is true storytelling.