I usually experience Paulo Coelho’s work as dreamlike, very powerful and inspiring. I’m not quite sure why this one didn’t really do it for me. I read his work because they seem to help me think about life in new ways, grow, etc… I don’t know why this work didn’t grab me quite as much as the other ones have. Maybe his style of writing, the stories themselves are seeming very similar to me at this point? I don’t know.
I think one thing that sort of put me off was that “the woman” that Elijah fell for, didn’t have a name. That really bothered me and I don’t know why Coelho chose to do that, if it was a conscious decision. It seemed sort of dehumanizing to me in a way, she was called “the widow” or “the woman” and I don’t know if he did this to try to have her represent a more universal human schema/archetype of some kind… but I didn’t follow. It was like her gender/marital status defined her or something and I didn’t like it.
I really did like the theme, though, of challenging one’s fate or battling with God, even though I feel like a higher power would already know what you’re going to do. I don’t know, I just liked the imagery of challenging God and then growing in the process … even if it’s painful, learning from a tragedy is possible.
“We stopped thinking about life and chose to live it.”
I will say that I do really love the above quote, it reminds me to try to stay in the present moment.