I'm so torn...I wanted to love the book, I really did! There’s no doubt that Coelho is a fantastic writer, after all he does write poetry. However, I think this novel was a bit of a struggle. Was this done on purpose because the main character, Linda, a thirty-something journalist/mother/wife is struggling? Linda is going through her own crisis (albeit self inflicted). From the outside looking in, she has everything - she is married to a man who adores her (the "husband" as he's referred to in the whole book), a job where she is respected, money, a fabulous home, yet is not happy and feels that she is in a downward spiral.
Having interviewed a writer who talked about the meaning of life, Linda becomes manic in her efforts to find her own purpose and self-diagnosis. She treats what she thinks may be depression with a relationship (if you can classify it as such) with an old flame, Jacob, who is now a politician and known for his infidelity. Linda thinks this new found fling is just what she needs because it is giving her purpose and is thrilling because it is so out of character. Speaking of out of character, I think what she was planning to do to Jacob's wife was far fetched.
Another problem is that none of the characters were particularly likeable, especially Linda and Jacob. I thought this book would have been more interesting had it been penned from Jacob's wife.
The location seems to be of importance, it is mentioned several times and almost becomes like a character. Perhaps symbolic of the put-together, perfect world of Linda?
The novel is entirely written in first person and I think this did a disservice to the story. There was so much more to tell, I felt that Coelho only scratched the surface.