Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho

“Pain and suffering are used to justify the one thing that should bring joy: love” – Maria of Eleven Minutes

                Maria, a woman eager to get her life rid of poverty, took another step as she accepted the offer of a man whom she barely knows. Working on a foreign country, Switzerland was the only way she can think to fulfill her dreams.

                 However, as soon as she reached her destination, she was surprised that what she pictured out from her mind was entirely different from the reality. Yes, she can still accomplish her dreams but she has to let go of herself. It was like gaining what you want at the same time losing what you possess.

               Maria, even with a downcast heart, was compelled to become a prostitute. She was already there, on a country in which everything was foreign to her, so going back on her homeland was her last option. And her first and difficult option was to sell her own body.

               She was more than willing to fight and offer her body for her dreams. She was willing to let go of herself just to go home with loads of money and a farm for her parents. That was her only goal when she went to Switzerland and worked at the Copacabana as a prostitute. Earning loads of money became her motivation to survive on the filthy industry of prostitution. She made love with different kinds of guys; rich, poor, married, single, young, old and etc. Just name it all. Of course, it was never easy for her but she has to survive and earn money. And falling in love in any guy or her customers she has sexed with was the one of the serious things she’s avoiding.

               It was never difficult for her to avoid that, until she met a successful and affluent painter, Ralf hart. It was at their first meeting when Hart told Maria that she has the “light” in which Maria could hardly comprehend. And the moment they got to know more each other, she knew she would do what she was avoiding: to fall in love. She tried to control her emotion with Hart, but she just end up of falling in love with him more.

               However, at the end, would she follow her dreams of going back to Brazil with loads of money or would she follow her heart of pursuing the guy who showed utmost respect and love for her? You should read the book and find out what happens.

                  With this kind of story, the author showed the in-depth side of a prostitute woman. Coelho barred the stereotype of a prostitute as just mere women selling their body for living or for pleasure. He showed the other angle, as how prostitutes just like normal people earning for a living struggle in life and face troubles.

                 This book is certainly a good material to read. It’s just the matter of being open-minded on certain issue. It may touch one of the sensitive issues of our culture, but it will bring realizations and lesson that you thought you could never know.

                  I assure you there’s more to this book than sex. 


4 thoughts on “Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho

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