A new, international bestseller by the author of The Alchemist tells the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that "Love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer ..." A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune. Instead, she ends up working as a prostitute.
In Geneva, Maria drifts further and further away from love as she develops a fascination with sex. Eventually, Maria's despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness, sexual pleasure for its own sake, or risking everything to find her own "inner light" and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love.
In this gripping and daring new novel, Paulo Coelho sensitively explores the sacred nature of sex and love and invites us to confront our own prejudices and demons and embrace our own "inner light."
Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria. Wait a minute. "Once upon a time" is how all the best children's stories begin and "prostitute" is a word for adults. How can I start a book with this apparent contradiction? But since, at every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss, let's keep that beginning.
Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria.
Like all prostitutes, she was born both innocent and a virgin, and, as an adolescent, she dreamed of meeting the man of her life (rich, handsome, intelligent), of getting married (in a wedding dress), having two children (who would grow up to be famous) and living in a lovely house (with a sea view). Her father was a travelling salesman, her mother a seamstress, and her hometown, in the interior of Brazil, had only one cinema, one nightclub and one bank, which was why Maria was always hoping that one day, without warning, her Prince Charming would arrive, sweep ...
The growth of the main character from innocent village girl to the writer of philosophical journal entries stretches credibility a little too far, and the whole story seems to be too obvious a vehicle for moralizing.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (686 words).
Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, the city where he now lives. In 1970, after deciding that law
school was not for him, he traveled through much of South America, North
Africa, Mexico, and Europe. Returning to Brazil after two years, he
began a successful career as a popular songwriter. In 1974, he was
imprisoned for a short time by the military dictatorship then ruling in
Brazil. In 1980, he experienced one of the defining moments of his life:
he walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in
northwestern Spain and achieved a self-awareness and a spiritual awakening
that he later described in The Pilgrimage.
For some ...
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