Book of the Week: Manuscript Found in Accra

Balot’s Stamp: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I have read Accra before (I could not remember when, of course). But since I have a memory of a fish, it was like reading this Coelho novel for the first time (again!).

It’s amazing how Coelho’s novels have become an important part of my life. By the River Piedra helped me during my younger years when I was still finding my way in the crazy world of love and the frustrations that came with it; Veronika Decides To Die accompanied me during my depression; Winner Stands Alone rose with me at the height of my career; The Alchemist once again guided me to my destiny when I decided to leave  my corporate job and eventually found my first love, writing; and now (again), Manuscript when the whole waiting for my pregnancy to happen is becoming a source of great frustration.

Manuscript Found in Accra, like all other Coelho books, is very insightful. I have read in one review that it sounded preachy — well, that was the whole point of the book actually. Because the Captain (Copt) is being asked questions about life and everything in between and he shares his wisdom. When you share your wisdom, it can be taken in two ways: to those who resist, it will sound preachy; to those who are open, it will give you enlightenment. I am part of the latter. Once again, Coelho sheds light to my uneasiness.

One of the strategies that I have in choosing a book is looking for excerpts – if I am drawn to one part of the book, I am more likely to enjoy it. But of course, that does not happen 100% of the time.

Well anyway — here goes the part which I liked (among many others) —

“The traveler continues his journey. He doesn’t complain of boredom now; he complains, rather, that he is tired. But that point he rests, enjoys the landscape, and then carries on.
Instead of spending his whole life destroying the roads he was afraid of following, he begins to love the road he is on.

Religions teach that faith and transformation are the only ways of drawing near to God.

Even if his final destination remains a mystery, even if, at some point, he makes a wrong decision, God sees his courage and sends him the necessary inspiration to put matters right.

What continues to trouble him is not what happens, but a fear that he won’t know how to deal with it. Once he has decided to follow his path and has no alternative, he discovers that he has great willpower and that events bend to his decisions.

“Difficulty” is the name of an ancient tool that was created purely to help us define who we are. Faith shows us that we are never alone. Transformation helps us to love the mystery.

And when everything seems dark, and we feel alone and helpless, we won’t look back, for fear of seeing the changes that have taken place in our soul. We will look ahead. 

We will not fear what happens tomorrow, because yesterday we had someone watching over us. And that same Presence will remain at our side. That Presence will shelter us from suffering. Or It will give us the strength to face it with dignity. We will go farther than we think. We will seek out the place where the morning star is born. And we will be surprised when we get there how much easier it was than we had imagined.”

What do you think, loves? Have you read this book? If yes, how will you rate it? 

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