Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jackie Isn't Sure What To Call This Book--Fact or Fiction--But She Finds It Quite Beautiful


The latest novel from the #1 internationally best-selling author of The Alchemist.

There is nothing wrong with anxiety.
Although we cannot control God’s time, it is part of the human condition to want to receive the thing we are waiting for as quickly as possible.
Or to drive away whatever is causing our fear. . . .
Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it—just as we have learned to live with storms.

*  *  *

July 14, 1099. Jerusalem awaits the invasion of the crusaders who have surrounded the city’s gates. There, inside the ancient city’s walls, men and women of every age and every faith have gathered to hear the wise words of a mysterious man known only as the Copt. He has summoned the townspeople to address their fears with truth: 

“Tomorrow, harmony will become discord. Joy will be replaced by grief. Peace will give way to war. . . . None of us can know what tomorrow will hold, because each day has its good and its bad moments. So, when you ask your questions, forget about the troops outside and the fear inside. Our task is not to leave a record of what happened on this date for those who will inherit the Earth; history will take care of that. Therefore, we will speak about our daily lives, about the difficulties we have had to face.” 

The people begin with questions about defeat, struggle, and the nature of their enemies; they contemplate the will to change and the virtues of loyalty and solitude; and they ultimately turn to questions of beauty, love, wisdom, sex, elegance, and what the future holds. “What is success?” poses the Copt. “It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace.” 

*  *  *

Now, these many centuries later, the wise man’s answers are a record of the human values that have endured throughout time. And, in Paulo Coelho’s hands, The Manuscript Found in Accra reveals that who we are, what we fear, and what we hope for the future come from the knowledge and belief that can be found within us, and not from the adversity that surrounds us.


Jackie says:
"A manuscript, carbon dated back to 1307 AD, was found in 1974.   It is written in Arabic, Hebrew and Latin.  It concerns a town meeting in July 14, 1099, a day before the French army was to invade the city (Jerusalem).  A Greek man who had made his home there for years, who was known as The Copt.  He sat with the elders of the various religions in the town, and he invites the spectators to ask him questions and he would answer them all.  The book is a transcript of those questions and their deeply beautiful answers.  

While religion and beliefs came into play in many of the answers, I don't really feel like it was preachy in any way.  It was more of a philosophical view at a lot of difficult things, both in the town's situation and those that live in the human heart.  It's a quick read in some ways, but I found myself going back over the answers again and again.  The writing is so well rendered, one wonders if this is truly fiction, or is there maybe something larger behind it.  All I can tell you is to read it for yourself."

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