This was the last selection of the year for the International Fiction Book Group of
The members liked the bare plot; however, they found the novel oppressive in some ways. There are words of wisdom. The morality aspect was beating down too much on the readers.In a town, where nothing happens, a stranger comes in. He offers the townspeople unspeakable wealth, but there are many strings attached to get it.
The novel takes place in about a week, a trend that Coelho had used in his most recent works.
While deciding whether the risks were worth taking, everyone starts to think about their lives.
Chantal, one of the younger ladies in the town, is seized with fear: “..She had just realized there were two things that prevent us from achieving our dreams: believing them to be impossible or seeing those dreams made possible by some sudden turn of the wheel of fortune, when you least expected it. For at that moment, all our fears suddenly surface: the fear of setting off along a road heading who knows where, the fear of life full of new challenges, the fear of losing forever everything that is familiar.People want to change everything, and at the same time, want it all to remain the same.”
This paragraph really spoke to me. I have recently made some decisions that seemed too hard to make just a year. I am glad to know that others go through the same crisis of new things.
And, while I start to implement steps to make my decision come true, I will follow, Berta’s husband’s advice. (He used to take hunters on trips; if they didn’t know how to shoot, he would make them shoot cans.) “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open. Concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”
Coelho is one of my favorite authors, but I didn’t fall in love with this novel. Even though it was short, it didn’t feel as interesting as his previous novels.