Ever since I read Eleven Minutes Paulo Coelho became one of my favorite authors, a sensitive writer, who is able to understand the psyche of a woman and can present her as a real self without succumbing to any pre conceived male notions.
It was largely due to this fact that I picked up Brida by Paulo. I read in the introduction that it is a story of the spiritual journey of a woman, who is ready to fight with her destiny to realize her dreams.
The added warning in the beginning of the book that the readers should not attempt to practice the rituals of Tradition of Moon described in the book further fueled my imagination and I supposed that the book is going to be concentrating a lot on the occult science, a cryptic world which often attracts me.
The very first line of the book ,” I want to learn about magic, said the girl” made it look even more mysterious and I readied myself for some hours of pure, unadulterated mystic fun, which would grip me in some unforeseen phenomena and leave a lasting impression on my mind.
However, the high expectations almost always lead to great disappointment and this novel is not an exception. A story that began with the challenge to learn magic soon digresses into a mumbo jumbo about love, romance, soul mates and passion, and that too in such a detached manner that I could not identify it as a natural yearning of a woman.
The path which was to lead to the transformation of soul, simply divulges into the search of physical love. The writer promised in the Prologue that he has described the rituals as practiced by ancient witches and wizards and may be he is right in his assertion. But I found the narrative utterly boring, even the dream sequences of Brida, which form the basis of her transformation, did not strike as something extra ordinary.
Though, there were some instances, when the suspense element pitched up and made me think that soon the tone would change and concentrate about the tantra mantra and secrets of society. I kept reading the novel, expecting that it would somewhere talk about the magic promised in the very beginning and shed light on the hitherto unknown facets of the cults, a la Dan Brown, but nothing happened. The novel ended as a straight line, repeatedly talking about finding soul mates,who would perhaps complete the purpose of our life.
Even after finishing the novel, I feel it is incomplete. It began well, but failed to maintain the initial momentum and ended haphazardly, contrary to all my expectations and high hopes from an international bestseller.