I finished reading yesterday Paulo Coehlo’s Eleven Minutes. Like I always do, I did it in one sitting even when my eyes grew too tired even just to stay awake (how much more to read) simply because I do not have the patience to think about how it was going to end while I sleep. Or perhaps I subconciously love to torture myself.
I really wish I am not having premature aging of my brain because this book did not sweep me off my feet. I was glued from page to page for the first half as I read about the self-discovery of Maria (the main character) of sex and love and to her loads of (mis)adventures of prostituting in a foreign land. And of course, we share the painstaking price of being all on our own so I have a lot to relate with her story.
I felt like Maria was my confidante for a while as she shared to me the discovery of her own sexuality (the big O to be exact), which was something I could never bear to open up to my girl friends or even to my “shrink.” I also felt butterflies fluttering in my stomach when her first love approached her to borrow a pencil after waiting for every hour of many months for that moment to happen. Like I always did in my past, she suddenly acted silly and made him go away. We dreamed and crossed our fingers together when she flew to Switzerland in the hopes of finding a husband, of making it big, and in simply to make her bland life a little bit more fabulously complicated. But fate turned against her and she was ushered into prostitution. Dreams falling apart, depression, and a few of struggles followed. But she was a strong and smart girl (thank you Paulo for presenting her as such). Instead of crying out helplessly and blaming the heavens for it, she made lemonades out of her lemons. This was exactly what I wanted her to do.
Then came the love of her life. Or was it really? This was when the book started to fail me. I am not a fan of fairytale love so sorry. I did not even find the wicked stepsisters, the bad guy or the witch. Life is too good to Maria. A prostitute’s life should be more challenging and colorful than that. Even my life is more challenging and colorful. And love at first sight? Yeah right. If this book has used magic realism, I would have forgiven it. The ending was also kind of similar to what I always see in Drew Barrymore movies or the last episode of Sex and the City–too good that it could not have been true. Please do not make me elaborate further because I do not want to murder this international bestseller.
Paulo Coehlo was entertaining nonetheless…with a lot of intellectual insights about a woman’s life that I very much agree with.
Rating: 3 stars out of five.