So, yall may be surprised that I’m actually posting here again. After all, one gung-ho night of three posts in a row followed by over a week of nothing may have made the good folks at wordpress think I had just forever taken this web address from another Sandi who may be more sincere in her attempts at blogging. What they don’t know is that the day after I created this blog I got my wisdom taken out and that the few precious minutes I felt like doing something other than laying on the couch watching “How I Met Your Mother” “Two and a Half Men” and “My Fair Wedding” were to be spent doing something other than blogging.
I’m doing much better now, and despite all the meds, I did find time to finish Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho (yes, the author of The Alchemist, no, I have not read The Alchemist…yet). I’ll be honest, I did struggle a little with whether or not I really wanted to publish a review of it on my blog as there are parts which can be quite–shall we say–graphic, more so than we expected. This was Coelho, quality literature, not a harlequin romance, so I expected a little more to be left to the imagination than was. Then again, it was published in 2003, so really, those may have been naive expectations. But when I saw it on the buy 2, get the 3rd free table at Barnes & Noble, it caught my interest, so here it goes.
To me, the book was somewhat of a secular version of Redeeeming Love, and not just because the main female character in each is a prostitute. I want to refrain from making too many parallels, as it has been almost two years (almost EXACTLY two years, actually) since I read RL and there are many details (including even the female lead’s name!) that I can’t remember. But I do remember that the point is that she is saved from her lifestyle first by the Christlike love of Michael Hosea and then, ultimately, by the love of Christ that enters her heart and gives her courage to escape again, as well as save a child from the life.
Maria of EM was not forced into the life in the same manner–this novel is not an account of human trafficking. While she was deceived by the businessman in Rio, her career would be more comparable to the famous call-girls such as Ashley Dupree than tragic accounts you would expect from a young girl being lured from Brazil to Europe. While she always had plans to return to Brazil rich from her success, she cannot really commit to these plans until she meets a famous young artist, and thus she is redeemed by love as well, although in this case it is love of self, realized through romantic love, as well as a strong sense of place that although she was flourishing in Switzerland, Brazil was truly where she belonged. While I will not give away the ending, it was happy, although it waits until the last few pages to truly resolve.
A note on the style: chapters tend to be very short, which is good if you only have short bits of time to read. (Although every once and a while a 10-pager will get you when you aren’t expecting it). Also most, though not all, chapters end with a diary entry from Maria, giving the novel an alternating 1st and 3rd person perspective. However, these diary entries, unlike in some other novels I have read, are actually necessary for both plot and character information–dont skip them.
Where is it now: Available! Let me know if you would like to read it, and I’ll be happy to loan it to you!
Up next: Humanitarian Jesus: Social Justice and the Cross by Christian Buckley and Ryan Dobson (those are some last names for you!). The first part is a theological exmaination of what the Bible says about serving in Jesus’ name (and not neglecting either serving or Jesus’ name), while the second half contains interviews with evangelical leaders who the authors believe are currently living out both the command to “love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind,” and to “love your neighbor as yourself.”