Witch of Portobello

"Athena Khalil foresees civil war in her hometown, Beirut; moves to London; and finds ecstasy dancing to Siberian percussion beats. After traveling to Transylvania to meet her birth mother, a Gypsy, for the first time, she begins a spiritual quest of learning through teaching and off-the-cuff rituals to break routine. By dancing against the beat, Athena conjures Hagia Sofia, an alternate part of her who can speak with ghosts and see auras, and she prophesies for a growing audience. Athena's story is narrated in turns by many characters, none of whom is well established or provokes empathy; however, they do provide a clear understanding of Athena's character and a good vehicle through the scene changes, from a bank job in London to calligraphy in a Middle Eastern desert to Gypsies in Transylvania." (Book Description)

Paulo Coelho; translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa
Contemporary Fiction
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