Monday, January 11, 2010

Review: Brida by Paulo Coehlo

Title: Brida

Author: Paulo Coelho

Rating: 1/2

Who Should Read It? This book is for you if you love Paulo Coehlo or if you love a good book with a deeper meaning. If you've ever read and enjoyed a book about a pilgrimage or about the power of faith or about love and soul mates, this book is for you.

What I Have to Say: Anyone who has read Paulo Coelho knows that he writes with a wisdom and grace that reaches out and touches your soul. He writes with poise and beauty that is, unfortunately, lacking in the majority of modern literature. "Brida" is just another reminder that a beautiful story can be used as a way of teaching a wonderful, necessary lesson. It's not a story that was written just for the sake of being written; it was written because the world had something to say.
In Brida, we follow Brida, a 21 year old girl looking to become a witch, on a pilgrimage of self-discovery and world-discovery, looking to find answers to questions we all sometimes ask ourselves. Through her, we as readers get to learn about the Tradition of the Sun and the Tradition of the moon. As we watch Brida learn and grow, we learn what it means to have utter and absolute faith in something, in the world. We also learn that magic itself, the magic of the world, comes from having faith and allowing ourselves to trust in that faith.
One of my biggest problems with this book was Brida herself. She was a smoker, and it didn't seem to fit with her or her personality at all. I'm totally biased when it comes to smokers - I like them less, and that's just a fact. Still, in this book, I thought I had Brida figured out, and then suddenly out of nowhere she smokes a cigarette, and it just rubbed me the wrong way. It didn't fit in with any of the images I had in my head about who she was. There were other things about her as well that just didn't jive - times when she got angry or confused or frustrated, and it just didn't make sense for the person that she was becoming.
Which makes me feel as if I must have been missing something. Paulo Coelho's books always have some deeper meaning under the surface, and I feel like, through my lack of ability to understand Brida, I missed out on something big.
And yet despite that, I loved it. I loved the passion and the love and the beauty and the faith and the spirituality and the transformation. It was a page turner through and through. It was literally one of those books that I couldn't put down no matter how hard I tried. And in the end, it had me thinking for days.
What I found most amazing about this book was how much Coehlo managed to transmit to us through sheer simplicity. It was a short, simplistic story that contained so much more than seems possible in just 200 pages.
Utterly spellbinding, I think, is the best way to describe it.

Summary: people of great wisdom. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her to trust in the goodness of the world, and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch.

This enthralling novel incorporates themes that fans of Paulo Coelho will recognize and treasure. It is a tale of love, passion, mystery, and spirituality from the master storyteller.

Final Question: If you've read Brida, what did you think? And do you think that I was missing out on some major theme?
If not, what are some unanswerable, worldly questions that you sometimes ask yourself? Do you ever think about the soul and what having or not having a soul implicates? Do you ever wonder if there really is a right and a wrong? Do you think about soul mates? Or do you wonder about something else entirely?


Felicity Grace Terry said...

I haven't actually read anything by this author but as I answered yes to nearly all your questions I think I may well have to remedy that.

Marce said...

Wow that sounds deep. And I'm always intrigued when we have feelings towards a character because of something like them smoking. Great review.

Kath said...

I recently read The Devil and Miss Prym by Coelho and have Brida on my shelf waiting for me. Love your review - it's bumped my copy up a few places in the TBR pile!

Unknown said...

The Alchemist is one of my favourite books. I love its simple elegance. I tried to read Eleven Minutes and The Pilgrimmage and I just didn't engage with them. I actually didn't finish them which is really unlike me. I wonder if the author has over-used his format. I don't know but I won't bother trying Brida.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I need to read this! Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

PeaceLove&Pat said...

I love Paulo Coelho, he is my favorite writer of all time. I have Brida since forever but haven't got the chance to read it yet. Thanks for bringing jis book back to my attention.

Have you read Veronika decides to Die? or 11 minutes, those are my P.C favorite books.

Simcha said...

I've never heard of this author or this book before but your description of it sounds intriguing. I'll have to check it out.

Kirthi said...

I read this, what an inspirational book! I love Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist!
You won an award at my blog!

Belle said...

What a great review! I've got The Alchemist in my tbr, and I really should get to it. I think it's so true, what you wrote: magic itself, the magic of the world, comes from having faith and allowing ourselves to trust in that faith. That's it exactly.

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