Witch of Portobello (Coelho)

Discussion Questions 
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

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Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for The Witch of Portobello:

1. Athena was certainly provocative. How do you view her—as an inspiried spiritual teacher or as a manipulative opportunist? Or something else? Do you believe her gifts of sight are genuine?

2. Discuss the world of magic versus the world of science or rationality—especially the belief held by many that, as Heron Ryan puts it, "anything science cannot explain has no right to exist." Where do you stand on this?

3. Has the idea of "witch" changed at all today from when it was used to persecute women during the medieval and up through the early modern ages?

4. What does it mean that we are victims of the realities we create?

5. To what extent did Athena seek out her death?

6. Is the world of sight, sound, and touch—the rational world —sufficient for you? Or do you seek another kind of reality, the one, perhaps, that Athena offered?

7. Of those interviewed for this book, whose voice do you trust the most? Who do you identify with the most? Dislike the most?

8. Would Athena's life have been more meaningful, more useful, if she had, as Andrea McCain suggests, joined a convent and devoted herself to a life of service to the poor?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution Thanks.)

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