I am just a girl who loves reading and talking about books
After reading the Alchemist, I decided to read another book by Paulo Coelho and picked up Adultery which is what my book club is reading this month. Adultery is a story about a woman named Linda who at first seems to be living the perfect life. She has a good job, a wonderful marriage and two kids. However, one day Linda wakes up feeling that there is something missing in her life and begins to look for answers to fix this. A while into the search, Linda begins to make decisions that seem quite erratic looking for something to make her life more interesting. When she bumps into an old flame, things take a turn and she starts an affair that ignites that flame of excitement in her life.
I’ll start with what I liked about the book.
The female voice was quite believable. There were many instances where I could relate with Linda’s thoughts. Paulo Coelho successfully takes you into the mind of a 30 something woman faced with mid-life crisis. You will be able to look into her heart and mind and share in some of her pains and struggles.He also makes an attempt at addressing issues of depression and mental illness. Another thing is that the story has a really good flow with short prose. This makes it easy for a reader to follow the story. The chapters are also quite brief with some being only a page long.
However, I really struggled with getting through this book. First of all, Linda’s actions did not make much sense to me. They seemed erratic and just plainly hard to fathom. For instance, she is portrayed as a devoted mother and wife who has never even thought of having an affair before. Then she bumps into Jacob Koenig and falls in love with him the minute he asks her if she was unhappy and then gets into an ‘exchange of intimacies’ with the man based on that. I felt that this was quite rushed and hence seemed illogical. I don’t know if this was supposed to show that she was not thinking straight but it just didn’t make much sense. The purchase of cocaine and plan to frame M’me Koenig also sounded bizarre.
Linda as a character also greatly confused me. I was unclear on why she was with Jacob and what excited her so much about the affair. At some point I got the feeling that hers was an obsession and not love. She is depicted as a strong woman but then she repeatedly gets disrespected by Jacob to a point that I had to stop reading the book first. For instance, the first sexual encounter was a difficult read. It felt like a bad version of Fifty Shades of Gray, not even Anastasia Steele was humiliated in such a manner. However, Linda kept going back to him. Despite her issues, I didn’t feel sympathetic towards her since she came off as a monster in some instances. I don’t think that she was happy with him but rather was just excited to be taking such a risk.
Another thing that irked me about this book is the amount of irrelevant information given about Geneva, Switzerland. There was an information overload that made it sound like someone did a load of research on Geneva and tried to include all that information into the story. Too much History and ‘we in Geneva‘ statements that I feel like didn’t add anything to the plot of the story.
The paragliding conflict resolution was another thing that I didn’t quite like including the all you need is love epiphany.
Adultery is one book that I probably won’t be reading again. However, I am still looking forward to read other books by Paulo Coelho. Tomorrow I will get started on By the River Piedra; I sat and wept.
Some reviewers have described Adultery as ‘fascinating and thought-provoking’. I obviously disagree with that but would like to know what others thought. Read the book and let me know whether you loved it or not.