11 Minutes, Paulo Coelho - My review

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"Eleven Minutes" is 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. 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 has to 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 sacred sex, sex in the context of love.
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My opinion:
I’ve read this book many years ago, and it’s one of my favourite books from Paulo Coelho and the one which touched me the most. It’s like a fairy tale for adults, of a young Brazilian woman called Maria searching for the answers to her desires. She leaves her country trying to find herself and she sees herself in a struggle between love, pleasure and pain. It is a book that talks about the importance of freedom in love: “That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it”. Because of her profession, Maria starts to see love as a way of making someone a prisoner, and captivity causes pain, loneliness causes pain…therefore love causes pain, because when people break up they suffer. But is it better to not fall in love in order to avoid pain? And is sex an expression of love or merely a physical act?
I love the way Paulo Coelho writes and this book has some amazing quotes. He makes the reader think about subjects with a deep contact with our inner selves and sometimes he can make us think about “forbidden” things. It is good to read a book with this his type of crude, naked writing, where there’s no fear about what’s written. It goes from the mind and heart of the writer straight to the paper.
Human beings can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. It is the worst of all tortures, the worst of all sufferings.” ― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

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