This is post #76 in 100DaysOfBloggingChallenge
Paulo Coelho’s Adultery takes up the idea of loving yourself to discover who you are. That’s what the cover says! The protagonist certainly ends up discovering herself but I am not sure if someone can love herself after going through similar series of events, just my thoughts!
Linda, a beautiful woman in her thirties, has a great job, loving husband, two children. A perfect life with apparently no flaws! Her life is very predictable and she is happy until one day she hears someone talking about living a passionate life rather than ‘just’ a happy one! And predictable happiness gets translated to boredom for her! She realizes the need to find something new, something challenging! A lot of us have thoughts similar to Linda’s :
“Today I am a woman torn between the terror that everything might change and the equal terror that everything might carry on exactly the same for the rest of my days.”
And she resorts to adultery to find happiness. Not that I should be complaining about it as this was THE title of the book but it was the first thing I disliked about it. I couldn’t like the main character of the book. Not only because she indulges in adultery with her high school boyfriend but also because she was a weak and confused character. One of those people who run away from problems or use shortcuts for everything! Loved this sentence which precisely describes my thoughts for Linda’s character:
“Am I trying to create a real problem to drive away my imaginary ones?”
As always, there are heaps of beautiful lines, especially from Linda’s husband. The fact that Paulo Coelho uses the simple ‘lifelike’ characters and utterly simple words to teach life lessons has always made his books stand out for me. Holds true for this book as well. The last few pages had a heart warming conversation where Linda’s husband talks freely. And the way Paulo used their paragliding activity as the turning point in Linda’s thoughts was just remarkable.
If I were the author, I would have definitely omitted the last encounter of Linda and her boyfriend. But then maybe the book wouldn’t be the same! I have liked some of his work way more than Adultery but no regrets! After all, his books and words sometimes make you notice things easily ignored.
“Beware when making a woman cry. God is counting her tears.”
“We aren’t who we want to be. We are what society demands. We are what our parents choose. We don’t want to disappoint anyone; we have a great need to be loved. So we smother the best in us. Gradually, the light of our dreams turns into the monster of our nightmares. They become things not done, possibilities not lived.”
“What kills a relationship between two people is precisely the lack of challenge, the feeling that nothing is new anymore. We need to continue to be a surprise for each other.”
“When you love each other, you have to be ready for anything. Because love is like a kaleidoscope, the kind we used to play with when we were kids. It’s in constant movement and never repeats itself. If you don’t understand this, you are condemned to suffer for something that really only exists to make us happy.
“Men cheat because it’s in their genetic code. A woman does it because she doesn’t have enough dignity; in addition to handing over her body, she always ends up handing over a bit of her heart. A true crime. A theft. It’s worse than robbing a bank, because if one day she is discovered (and she always is), she will cause irreparable damage to her family. For men it is just a “stupid mistake.” For women, it feels like a spiritual crime against all those who surround her with affection and support her as a mother and wife.”
“Record things in your heart. It’s more important than trying to show people what you’re experiencing.”
“Going after a dream has a price. It may mean abandoning our habits, it may make us go through hardships, or it may lead us to disappointment, et cetera. But however costly it may be, it is never as high as the price paid by people who didn’t live. Because one day they will look back and hear their own heart say: ‘I wasted my life.”
“Optimism is contagious, he states. If that were the case, all your would have to do is go to the person you loved with a huge grin, full of plans and ideas, and know how to present the package. Does it work? No. What is really contagious is fear, the constant fear of never finding someone to accompany us to the end of our days. And in the name of this fear we are capable of doing anything, including accepting the wrong person and convincing ourselves that he or she’s the one, the only one, who God has placed in our path. In very little time the search for security turns into a heartfelt love, and things become less bitter and difficult. Our feelings can be put in a box and pushed to the back of the closet in our head, where it will remain forever, hidden and invisible.”
“Love isn’t just a feeling; it’s an art. And like any art, it takes not only inspiration, but also a lot of work.”
“After a certain age, we put on a mask of confidence and certainty. In time, that mask gets stuck to our face and we can’t remove it”
“we feel obliged to repress our emotions and our desires, because they don’t fit with what we call “maturity.”