Paulo Coelho’s Adultery is a novel about a married woman. She has been happily married for many years now. She has a rich husband, a great career as a journalist and two cute children. Yet, there is something missing in her life. The spark in her relationship with her husband is long lost. Amidst all the luxuries, she feeling gloomy and depressed. Visits to psychiatrist, shamans and drug peddlers yield no results. That’s when she goes to interview a young politician. He too, like her, is married. He was the boy who she had kissed as a teenage girl. The sparks fly again and they end up in a relationship which now is only sexual. She feels alive again. She wants to do it again and again. She begins to fantasize about him. She finally confesses her state of mind to her husband, who understands her. Their relationship heals and she feels liberated.
The premise of the novel is easy to relate. We find people who are depressed even when outwardly everything is going fine in their lives everywhere. Paulo Cohelo brilliantly articulates the mental set up of a married woman who is unhappy in her life. Her suppressed sexuality comes to the fore when she meets her old boyfriend. Here neither she made guilty about the adulterous act nor is she portrayed as a slut. She comes across as a natural person.
The book neither claims to be a sequel of the classic The Alchemist nor it says that it will advise you to pick the pieces in your broken matrimonial life. So I feel that comparisons with The Alchemist are unfair. If you keep aside the image of Paulo Coelho which you have in your head (I agree keeping it aside is difficult), you will enjoy this book. I liked the book. It is a riveting read for sure.