“The book casts a curiously sweet spell.” – Entertainment Weekly
Eleven Minutes tells 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, yet ends up working as a prostitute.
In Geneva, 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 must 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 true love.
"Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria" thus begins Coelho's latest novel, a book that cannot decide whether it wants to be fairy tale or saga of sexual discovery, so ends up satisfying the demands of neither. In his dedication, bestselling Brazilian novelist Coelho (The Alchemist) tells readers that his book will deal with issues that are "harsh, difficult, shocking," but neither his tame forays into S&M nor his rather technical observations about female anatomy and the sad but hardly new fact that many women are dissatisfied with their sex lives will do much to shock American readers. In Maria, however, the author has created a strong, sensual young woman who grabs our sympathy from the first, as she suffers unrequited love as a child, learns a bit about sex as a teenager and, at 19, makes the ill-advised decision to leave Rio on a Swedish stranger's promise of fame and fortune. Maria's trials and triumphs she goes from restaurant dancer to high-class prostitute would make for an entertaining if rather prosaic novel, but Coelho, unfortunately, does not leave it there. Instead, he embarks on a philosophical exploration of sexual love, using Maria's increasingly ponderous and pseudo-philosophical diary entries as a means for expounding on the nature of sexual desire, passion and love. At the end, the story boils down to a rather predictable romance tarted up with a few sexy trappings.
I read this on a 9 hour flight back from Europe. I couldn't stop! I ended the book an hour before landing. As always Coehlo captivated me like not many authors do. This book is a must read if you are a fan of PC.
Freakin love it! I read this 2 years ago and I still talk about how amazing this book is. Ladies... Must read. Men... Learn from it lol
I have no words
I have no words to describe how good this book is. You will have to read it for yourself 😉