This week's two titles from my reading wish list share an incredible writer...
** The cover images are for illustrative purposes only. If you are a publisher and would kindly like to offer me a copy of any of these books for review, I will change the cover(s) so as to reflect the edition received. **
The Devil and Miss Prym
By Paulo Coelho
Amazon’s product description: The Devil and Miss Prym is the conclusion to the trilogy And on the Seventh Day which began with By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept and the hugely popular Veronika Decides to Die. Each of the three books focuses on a week in the life of ordinary people faced with a major life-changing force; be it love, death or power, it is Coelho's firm belief that "the profoundest changes take place within a very reduced time frame". The Devil and Miss Prym sees a stranger arriving in the remote mountain village of Viscos carrying with him a notebook and 11 bars of gold. The first person to strike up conversation with the stranger is the inappropriately named Miss Prym, the hotel barmaid. Unbeknownst to her, Chantal Prym is exactly the subject the man had been hoping to find. The stranger puts a proposition to Chantal and with it gives her the power to prove or disprove a supposition that has tormented him for years--"Given the right set of circumstances every human being on this earth would be willing to commit evil". Should Chantal prove him right, all her dreams of escape to a new life would come true, but proving the stranger right would mean casting aside her deeply ingrained beliefs about right and wrong. So ensues a moral dilemma and a spiritual struggle between good and evil that will impact on everyone in the village.
The Witch of Portobello
By Paulo Coelho
Amazon’s product description: 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 ten 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.
Why I want to read these books: So far I have read five books by Paulo Coelho, including the famous Alchemist, and none has failed to touch me deeply. I look forward to more wisdom from the Brazilian author.