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"Adultery" Summary

By Paulo Coelho

fiction | 272 pages | Published in NaN

ISBN_13: 9781101874080

Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A woman embarks on a journey of self-discovery and passion as she confronts the consequences of her decision to commit adultery.


In "Adultery" by Paulo Coelho, the renowned Brazilian author takes readers on a thought-provoking journey through the depths of human desires, the complexities of relationships, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment. Coelho skillfully weaves together a compelling narrative that challenges societal norms and explores the consequences of choices made in the pursuit of passion.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set in Geneva, Switzerland, and revolves around the life of Linda, a successful journalist in her thirties who appears to have it all - a loving husband, two children, and a thriving career. However, despite her seemingly perfect life, Linda finds herself trapped in a state of existential crisis and boredom.

Feeling unfulfilled and longing for excitement, Linda embarks on a journey of self-discovery that leads her down a path of infidelity. She becomes entangled in a passionate affair with a successful politician, Jacob König, which pushes her to confront her deepest fears and desires.

As Linda navigates the complexities of her adulterous relationship, she is forced to confront the consequences of her actions and grapple with her own sense of morality, love, and self-worth. Through her intimate exploration, Coelho offers readers a unique perspective on the nature of love, marriage, and the search for personal happiness.

Main Characters

LindaThe protagonist of the story, a successful journalist who embarks on a journey of self-discovery through adultery.
Jacob KönigA charismatic politician with whom Linda engages in an illicit affair.
AdrianLinda's loyal and loving husband, who struggles to understand the changes in his wife.
DanaLinda's best friend, who provides support and advice throughout the novel.

Summary of Different Story Points

Chapter 1-5: The Awakening

Linda, feeling trapped in her marriage and routine, begins to question her life choices. She meets Jacob König at a conference, and their initial encounter sparks a sense of longing within her. Linda starts contemplating the possibility of an affair.

Chapter 6-10: The Forbidden Connection

Linda and Jacob's connection intensifies as they continue to meet secretly. Their passionate affair becomes increasingly risky, and Linda struggles with guilt and conflicting emotions. Meanwhile, Adrian senses a change in his wife but remains unaware of the affair.

Chapter 11-15: Confronting Consequences

The affair becomes public when a journalist discovers Linda and Jacob together. Linda faces judgment and backlash from society, her family, and her colleagues. She must confront the consequences of her actions, including strained relationships and professional repercussions.

Chapter 16-20: Soul Searching

Linda embarks on a journey of self-reflection and seeks guidance from various sources, including therapy and spirituality. She confronts her fears, analyzes her choices, and attempts to find redemption and purpose in her life.

Chapter 21-25: The Road to Forgiveness

Linda's relationships with Adrian and Dana become strained as she tries to rebuild trust and seek forgiveness. Through therapy and self-discovery, she begins to understand the importance of forgiveness, both from others and herself.

Main Events

  1. Linda meets Jacob König at a conference and feels an instant connection.
  2. Linda and Jacob start a passionate affair, hidden from their respective partners.
  3. The affair becomes public, leading to societal judgment and consequences.
  4. Linda embarks on a journey of self-reflection and seeks redemption.
  5. Linda works on rebuilding her relationships with Adrian and Dana, seeking forgiveness and understanding.

Themes and Insights

1. The Pursuit of Passion and Fulfillment

Coelho explores the universal desire for passion and fulfillment, highlighting the consequences and complexities that arise from pursuing these desires outside societal norms. The novel challenges readers to question what truly brings them happiness and fulfillment.

2. Morality and Personal Choices

"Adultery" delves into the gray areas of morality, forcing readers to confront their own beliefs and judgments. Coelho encourages reflection on the consequences of personal choices and the importance of understanding and accepting the consequences.

3. Self-Discovery and Transformation

The novel emphasizes the transformative power of self-reflection and self-discovery. Linda's journey allows her to confront her fears, question her values, and ultimately find a deeper understanding of herself and her desires.

Reader's Takeaway

"Adultery" is a thought-provoking novel that challenges societal norms, explores the complexities of human desires, and encourages readers to question their own values and choices. Coelho's compelling storytelling and introspective narrative make for a captivating read that leaves readers contemplating the nature of love, marriage, and personal fulfillment.


"Adultery" by Paulo Coelho is a captivating exploration of human desires, the consequences of personal choices, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment. Through Linda's journey of self-discovery and the exploration of themes like passion, morality, and transformation, Coelho offers readers a thought-provoking and introspective novel. "Adultery" challenges societal norms and encourages readers to reflect on their own values and choices, making it a compelling read for those seeking a deeper understanding of the human experience.

Adultery FAQ

  1. What is the book 'Adultery' about?

    Adultery is a novel by Paulo Coelho that explores the themes of love, passion, and infidelity. It tells the story of a successful Swiss journalist who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and explores the consequences of her decision to have an affair.

  2. Who is the author of 'Adultery'?

    The book 'Adultery' is written by Paulo Coelho, a renowned Brazilian author known for his philosophical and inspirational works.

  3. What genre does 'Adultery' belong to?

    'Adultery' belongs to the genre of fiction, specifically contemporary literature.

  4. Is 'Adultery' a standalone book or part of a series?

    'Adultery' is a standalone book and is not part of a series.

  5. What are the major themes explored in 'Adultery'?

    The major themes explored in 'Adultery' include love, passion, infidelity, self-discovery, and the consequences of one's actions.

  6. Is 'Adultery' suitable for all readers?

    Due to its mature themes and explicit content, 'Adultery' is recommended for adult readers.

  7. Are there any trigger warnings for 'Adultery'?

    Yes, 'Adultery' contains themes of infidelity and explicit content that may be triggering for some readers. Reader discretion is advised.

  8. What is the writing style of 'Adultery'?

    'Adultery' is written in Paulo Coelho's signature style, characterized by its lyrical prose and thought-provoking insights.

  9. Does 'Adultery' have any notable awards or recognitions?

    As of now, 'Adultery' has not received any notable awards or recognitions.

  10. Where can I purchase a copy of 'Adultery'?

    You can purchase a copy of 'Adultery' from various online and offline book retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent bookstores.