The name Paulo Coelho might ring a bell, and it should. He is the author of one of the best known books in the world, The Alchemist. I’m embarrassed to say that I have not read his other books yet. But I was definitely intrigued when I heard about Adultery. Classics meet 50 Shades of Grey? How could anyone resist?
“Linda, in her thirties, begins to question the routine and predictability of her days. In everybody’s eyes, she has a perfect life: happy marriage, children, and a career. Yet what she feels is an enormous sense of dissatisfaction. All that changes when she encounters a successful politician who had, years earlier, been her high-school boyfriend. As she rediscovers the passion missing from her life, she will face a life-altering choice.”Amazon
I was really excited to start this book. Even despite reading many reviews that agreed with The Independent, describing the book as “shallow and full of cliché with sex that is aggressive and gratuitous.”
It was hard not to have high expectations after reading The Alchemist. I mean, this author managed to get me excited to read about a boy living in the desert. So what could he do with a story that’s much more relatable and written from a married woman’s perspective?
I got really into the book from the beginning. It was amazing and I found it super relatable. I couldn’t stop flipping through the pages, wanting to know what would happen next. Unfortunately, what happened next was that things went south.
First of all, the story itself went from ‘huh, I can see this happening’ to ‘what the heck is going on.’ The moment I stopped loving it, I started to hate everything about it. Suddenly, nothing that the protagonist was feeling or thinking felt real. It almost made me angry at Paulo Coelho for attempting to write from a woman’s perspective. He clearly doesn’t understand how we think.
Then, after a strong start and a crazy middle came a disappointing ending. When I discussed this book with the friend who recommended it, he said it was common with Paulo Coelho’s books to start off strong and then have meh endings. He reminds me of Ruth Ware in that sense.
Should You Read It?
Why not? It’s a weird book. It’s not a great book but it is a unique story. I have no idea what it would take for me to tell people not to read something. This book made me angry and confused, but it also made an impact. I will never forget the crazy unrealistic things that happened. So I don’t regret reading it and part of me still wants to read more by this author. Especially since I enjoyed The Alchemist as much as I disliked Adultery.
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