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Friday, June 8, 2012

Guest Review: Aleph by Paulo Coelho

Today I have a very special guest on my blog, my “little” sister, Juanita. For years we have shared our love for books, even though our tastes are a bit different, but sometimes to humor one another we go out of our comfort zone and read something the other recommend and to grand surprise we usually end up liking it. One author we both love is Paulo Coelho, and here she is reviewing for us his latest book, Aleph.

Title: Aleph
Author: Paulo Coelho
Genre: Spirituality, Philosophy
Format: E-book
 “The new novel by the author of The Alchemist. Aleph marks a return to Paulo Coelho's beginnings. In a frank and surprising personal story, one of the world's most beloved authors embarks on a remarkable and transformative journey of self- discovery. Facing a grave crisis of faith, and seeking a path of spiritual renewal and growth, Paulo decides to start over: to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the world. On this journey through Europe, Africa, and Asia, he will again meet Hilal--the woman he loved 500 years before--an encounter that will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, through past and present, in search of himself. Aleph is an encounter with our fears and our sins; a search for love and forgiveness, and the courage to confront the inevitable challenges of life."
Aleph is the latest book by the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho.  This has been one of my favorite books by this author so far.
Here you are going to see a very personal side, and it will give you a sensation of having a deep connection with his character.
The book starts by the author exposing his feeling of dullness in his life.  There is a part of him that feels stuck in his spiritual growth.  As in most of his books the presence of his spiritual master J. Is highly influential. At the beginning of the book we'll see a conversation that serves as the seed for the events that come on this story.
As a famous author the character faces constant traveling to do book signings and book promotions, during one of such he finds that he has extra time and nothing to do, so he reads an article about the bamboo trees, that serves to help him take a leap of faith and jump into a new quest.
After one of the book signings he gets into a state of mind that he just needs to make radical decisions accepting invitations to all the different countries that extend the invitation at that moment, culminating with Russia. The author mentions always wanting to travel by train crossing the whole country ending up in the Pacific Ocean.  He commits to a tour on Russia under the only condition of being available to make this wish come true.
At the very arrival to this country we are introduced to a very important character. Her name is Hilal and she is a young lady that has a very strong conviction to join Paulo in his spiritual quest.  She tries since the very first moment to make him understand how important it is for him to have her come along.
After keeping up with the author she convinces him to accept her presence during this trip.
Hilal is a violin virtuoso from Turkey that was recruited by the amazing talent she has and brought to master this talent.  From the very introduction of this character we can tell that she is a troubled young lady, who will benefit from this adventure too.   
Most of the story develops inside the train, where many meaningful conversations that will touch your soul in one way or another happen, and if you are like me it will touch your soul on many occasions.
Another meaningful character is Yao, he is the hired translator for Paulo, and as it happens in real life Yao ends up being a master for Paulo and Paulo for him.
During the trip Paulo and Hilal will find that inside the train there is The Aleph, this is basically a name for a space where you can travel through time and alternative dimensions.
These moments will allow our main characters to forgive and move forward, to understand things that they weren't available till then.
I will recommend this book to anyone that has a little of curiosity about spirituality, that is looking to grow and find alternative answers to many questions we have at different points of our life.
Prior books that will be great for you to read but not necessary to enjoy this one are The Pilgrimage, that leaks about his quest on the road to Santiago de Compostela, this is what they refer to the first sacred road, and the second one is Brida that is about the road to Rome.

Favorite quotes:

- "It isn't what you did in the past that will affect the present. It's what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future"

- "Stop repeating the same lesson, because you wont learn anything new that way"

-“Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.”

-"When a sense of dissatisfaction persist, that means it was placed there by God for one reason only: you need to change everything and move forward"-"paradise is being available to say at the moment "I made some mistakes, but I wasn't a coward. I lived my life and did what I had to"
-“Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.”

Juanita’s Verdict: 5 paws

Other reviews Goodreads

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a very interesting book. And 'little sister' writes nice review. :)


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