From the book blurb
Eleven Minutes is 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. 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.
Paulo Coelho, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, is one of the bestselling and most influential authors in the world. The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Witch of Portobello, The Winner Stands Alone, Aleph, Manuscript Found in Accra, and Adultery, among others, have sold 150 million copies worldwide.
Maria – A small town girl, a dreamer, go-getter. She lives in fantasy, yet faces the harsh realities with the courage derived from dreams and fantasy. She believes in fairy tales. She prioritizes money-making and works towards that goal.
What I think
I am fan of Paulo Coelho. I like the philosophical thoughts and the way the writer takes us deep into character’s skin. Eleven Minutes is no different. We are taken through the childhood, adolescence, and adulthood of Maria.
Maria believes in love and hopes that one day her Prince Charming would sway her off feet. She also dreams of making money and enjoying freedom. But, fate has other plans. She ends up as a prostitute!
Eleven Minutes could be a story of prostitute. But, it is also a story uncorrupted soul. The way in which she detaches her body and soul is awe-inspiring.
I liked the Maria’s diary is shared. It is so thoughtful and real. At the end, when I found out that this is based on a true story, I fell in love with the book.
The book becomes a little redundant and snail-paced. A little bit of editing would have made this book fascinating.
Read it if you enjoy philosophical thought!
Some words that stole my heart
© “Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn't have the courage to say "yes" to life?”
© “When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself.”
© “I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It's all a question of how I view my life.”
© “Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.”
© “No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it”
© “Don't listen to the malicious comments of those friends who, never taking any risks themselves, can only see other people's failures.”
© “Profound desire, true desire is the desire to be close to someone.”