Title: The Zahir
Author: Paulo Coelho
Format: Soft cover
Source: Bought used
"Set in Paris and in the enchanting landscape of Central Asia, this novel by the author of The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes follows the journey of a man obsessed with finding the wife who left him without an explanation." "The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges that money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who, despite her professional success and freedom from the conventional constraints of marriage, is facing an existential crisis. When she disappears along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover, the authorities question the narrator. Was Esther kidnapped, killed, or did she simply abandon a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesn't have any answers but he has plenty of questions of his own." Then one day Mikhail, the man with whom Esther was last seen, finds the narrator and promises to take him to his wife. In his attempt to recapture a love lost, the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself".
Another amazing novel by Paulo Coelho. I only discovered him a few years ago and I like to only read one or two of his novels a year in order to enjoy them fully. The first novel I read of his was The Alchemist which really got me hooked onto his writing and which is one of my favourite books. I love the way he themes each book and depending on what you are looking for you can choose from the book tree at the back of the book.
The Zahir like all his other novels was spectacular. I got sucked into the story of the narrator and his struggle to cope with the disappearance of his wife Esther. I enjoyed how the book started out with Esther already missing and as the story came together we see the events that lead to her disappearance and why she did not tell her husband where she was going. I was intrigued by the narrator, he started out as a pompous jerk that did not deserve his wife or any of the women he had in his life. As the story progressed I started to sympathize with him and I wished that Esther would have given him a reason as to why she disappeared.
I really enjoyed the self discovery in this novel. I feel this is a theme that Coelho includes in most of his novels but it is something I enjoy every time, it is always slow building but in the end makes sense and I feel like I can relate to the characters even if I have never been in the situation they are facing. I love that I can always connect with the characters. It makes me forget that I am sitting in my living room reading, I feel like I am being transported to Paris watching the narrator come to terms with reality.Beautifully written as always, if you are a fan of Coelho or even just want to give his work a try I recommend this novel, as always I was breathless. The theme he has chosen is obsession but as always it is more than that, it is about love and redemption and self preservation. It makes you think about how you view the world and how we interact with other people. One of my favourite reads of 2011.