This story is about the struggles, psyche and complexities of a prostitute called Maria. This brilliant story reveals the nature of men and women in various aspects of their lives – work, marriage and even the four walls of bedroom. A caution: This book is not for the faint hearted or those who consider sex as a taboo subject to be written about. This book handles sex just the way it deserves to be written about – explicitly, in details, and most importantly – with respect. Love is written about in a beautiful way which will touch our heart and make you identify with it. Sex is treated as more than just a carnal instinct – it is treated as a union of soul.
It depicts the true story of a prostitute who had left her manuscript with the author which Coelho found interesting and decided to transform into a book. It deals with the lives of a prostitute – their agonies, frustration, quest for love and more. This book with utmost honesty reveals about the “invention” of clitoris as well as the history of prostitution.
Brutally honest and shocking, this book keeps you gripped till the end. The story flows beautifully from one incident to the other, from one city to the other and makes one imagine along with it. It is informative, shocking and remarkably emotional at times. There is no way that you won’t love the novel if you read with an open mind.
There are some books which you interpret differently at different stages in your life. I have read this book thrice in my life and have understood it differently at different times. The last time I read it (which was a day ago), I had a glorified vision about sex. Sex, regarded as the ultimate taboo subject in India, is rarely written about with such dignity as Coelho has. He gives it the due respect that it deserves rather than treating it as a dirty act. The sacredness of kiss, the importance of orgasm, intricacies of how men and women feel differently about sex- everything is elaborately dealt with. More than a book, it is a revelation, an outlook towards love, life and sex. If you are an avid reader, you can’t afford to miss this classic piece by Coelho. He has outdone himself with this book.
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