Author: Paulo Coelho
Search for one’s destiny, true love and a soulmate, finding a path to a higher and more joyous self, making choices that lead to these desirables are the usual Paulo Coelho staples themes that one finds in Brida, the author’s latest offering. This is both the strength and weakness of the new novel. While these themes have been responsible for his best-sellers like the Alchemist and Eleven Minutes selling over 100 million books in 66 languages, with Brida they seem not shine with the usual Coelho brilliance. However, the novel does retain some elements of his usual eloquence and wisdom and can be read for the same.
The book is a tad repetitive though and falters in weaving the Coelho brand of magic and philiosophy that usually finds a resonance with most of his readers.
The novel follows the journey of 21-year old girl, Brida who was a ”witch” or an enlightened woman in her past reincarnations and had forgotten the same through various births. However, the attraction to occult and magic lingered in her memory and made her seek teachers and knowledge that would guide her on this path. As she embarks on her journey, she rediscovers her gift through the teachings of a wise man and a tarot card reader who is herself a witch. This woman teaches her to dance to the hidden music of the world and connect with her soul through her own voyage of discovery.
Coelho’s books allow the reader to slow down, introspect and find answers to questions like who we are and what is our place in the world . With Brida, the author seems to have hit a rough patch. The storyline is a bit sketchy. However, Coelho fans would recognize that Brida takes forward the ”witch” or ” free, joyful and intuitive woman” theme that he had introduced with his earlier novel ”The Witch of Portobello”.
In all, it’s a hit or miss book -- a hit with regular Coelho readers and perhaps a miss with first time Coelho readers.