Brida: A Novel

Brida: A Novel

by Paulo Coelho

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Overview

Brida, a young Irish girl, has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. Her search leads her to people of great wisdom. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her to trust in the goodness of the world, and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch.

This enthralling novel incorporates themes that fans of Paulo Coelho will recognize and treasure. It is a tale of love, passion, mystery, and spirituality from the master storyteller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061578953
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/10/2009
Series: P.S. Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 117,997
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Paulo Coelho, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, is one of the bestselling and most influential authors in the world. The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Witch of Portobello, The Winner Stands Alone, Aleph, Manuscript Found in Accra, and Adultery, among others, have sold over 175 million copies worldwide, and The Alchemist has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 360 weeks.

Paulo Coelho has been a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters since 2002, and in 2007, he was appointed United Nations Messenger of Peace. He is also the most followed author on social media.

Hometown:

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Date of Birth:

August 24, 1947

Place of Birth:

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Education:

Left law school in second year

Read an Excerpt

Brida

Chapter One

"I want to learn about magic," said the girl. The Magus looked at her. Faded jeans, T-shirt, the challenging look adopted by all shy people precisely when it's least needed. "I must be twice her age," he thought. And despite this, he knew that he had met his Soul Mate.

"My name's Brida," she went on. "Forgive me for not introducing myself. I've waited a long time for this moment and I'm more nervous than I thought I would be."

"Why do you want to learn about magic?" he asked.

"So that I can find answers to some of the questions I have regarding life, so that I can learn about the occult powers, and, possibly, how to travel back into the past and forward into the future."

It wasn't the first time someone had come to the forest to ask him this. There was a time when he'd been a Teacher who was known and respected by the Tradition. He'd taken on several pupils and believed that the world would change if he could change those around him. But he had made a mistake. And Teachers of the Tradition cannot make mistakes.

"Don't you think you're rather young?"

"I'm twenty-one," said Brida. "If I wanted to start learning ballet, I'd be considered too old."

The Magus made a sign for her to follow him. They set off together through the forest, in silence. "She's pretty," he was thinking as the shadows cast by the trees rapidly lengthened and shifted as the sun sank lower on the horizon. "But I'm twice her age." This, he knew, meant that he might well suffer.

Brida felt irritated by the silence of the man walking beside her; he hadn't even deigned to respond to her last remark. The forest floor was wet and covered in fallen leaves; she, too, noticed the shadows changing and the rapid approach of night. It would be dark soon and they didn't have a flashlight with them.

"I have to trust him," she told herself. "If I believe that he can teach me magic, then I also have to believe that he can guide me through the forest."

They continued walking. He appeared to be wandering aimlessly, from one side to the other, changing direction even when there was no obstacle in his path. More than once they walked in a circle, passing the same place three or four times.

"Perhaps he's testing me." She was determined to see this experience through to the end and tried telling herself that everything that was happening...including those circular walks...was perfectly normal.

She had come a very long way and had hoped for more from this encounter. Dublin was over ninety miles away, and the buses to the village were uncomfortable and left at absurd times. She'd had to get up early, travel for three hours, ask the people in the village where she might find him, and explain what she wanted with such a strange man. Finally, someone had told her in which part of the forest he could usually be found during the day, but not without first warning her that he'd already tried to seduce one of the village girls.

"He's an interesting man," she thought to herself. They were climbing now, and she found herself hoping that the sun would linger a little longer in the sky. She was afraid she might slip on the damp leaves.

"Why do you really want to learn about magic?"

Brida was pleased that the silence had been broken. She gave him the same answer she had given before.

But he wasn't satisfied.

"Perhaps you want to learn about magic because it's mysterious and secret, because it provides answers that few human beings ever manage to find in a whole lifetime, or perhaps because it evokes a romantic past."

Brida said nothing. She didn't know what to say. Afraid to give an answer the Magus might not like, she rather wished he would lapse back into his earlier silence.

At last they came to the top of a hill, having crossed the entire forest. The ground there was rocky and bare of vegetation, but at least it was less slippery, and Brida could follow the Magus without difficulty.

He sat down on the highest point and asked Brida to do the same.

"Other people have been here before," said the Magus. "They, too, came to ask me to teach them about magic, but I've taught everything I needed to teach. I've given back to humanity what it gave to me. Now I want to be alone, to climb mountains, tend plants, and commune with God."

"That's not true," replied the girl.

"What isn't true?" he asked, surprised.

"You might want to commune with God, but it isn't true that you want to be alone."

Brida regretted having spoken. She had spoken on an impulse, and now it was too late to correct her mistake. Perhaps there were people who wanted to be alone. Perhaps women needed men more than men needed women.

The Magus, however, showed no sign of irritation when he spoke again.

"I'm going to ask you a question," he said, "and you must be absolutely honest in your answer. If you tell me the truth, I'll teach you what you ask. If you lie, you must never again return to this forest."

Brida gave a sigh of relief. He was going to ask her a question. She simply had to tell the truth, that was all. She had always assumed that a Teacher would demand really difficult things of someone before taking them on as a pupil.

"Let's suppose that I do start teaching you what I've learned," he said, his eyes fixed on hers. "Let's suppose that I start to show you the parallel universes that surround us, the angels, the wisdom of nature, the mysteries of the Tradition of the Sun and the Tradition of the Moon. Then one day, you go into town to buy some food, and in the middle of the street, you meet the love of your life."

Brida. Copyright © by Paulo Coelho. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Brida 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an avid reader of Coehlo, I couldn't wait for Brida to be translated to English. Brida is an immature character who experiences much growth and change through out the book both with Wicca and Magus. Many of the secrets of the universe she learns are passed onto the audience simultaneously. While I am always impressed by the mysticism and knowledge Coehlo is able to bequeath his readers, this novel seemed to lack the story development that all his other novels have. His novels Eleven Minutes, Veronika Decides to Die, The Devil and Miss Pryn, The Alchemist, The Fifth Mountain, etc...all have beautiful mystical qualities about them as well as stories that live on in my mind. Brida felt almost as though I was reading a guide to the Wiccan tradition. Her story didn't matter to me like his other character's stories still do. Brida is not without merit, though
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book very much in the style Paulo's become renowned for. Anyone who's read several of his books may enjoy that brida clarifies and adds to the witch of portabello, being of the same vein, and reading them both would enliven the experiance of each. The character of Brida is portrayed extremely well, never being a static cliche person, her moods and values are constantly shifting, she has weak moments and is capable of real insight, her faults make her real, and that means you can really get into the story. I've been a huge fan of Paulo's books for years, and this is easily one of his best. lf you're looking for a book that will take you places you never thought were in the world this is it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found the book easy to read and interesting. Written in a Christo-pagan manner, a good 'bridge' book between both belief systems. A nice glimpse into Wiccan spirituality although not totally accurate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I saw this book, it literally just grabbed my attention, and once I started reading it I just couldn't put it down. I was intrigued by all the soul searching Brida had to do and felt a kind of kinship to her as she discovered who she truly was.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Regarding Coelho's blending of traditions: Neither the Catholicism nor the 'Wicca' practiced today can claim original, unchanging religious authenticity. Catholics incorporated local deities and practices everywhere they went and edited/rewrote 'The' Bible a few hundred times. Witches didn't write a lot down and were all but killed off in the burning times. Who is to say what cannot be blended? Many paths lead to one destination, often crossing other paths and traditions. Don't avoid this book because it doesn't rigidly hold to a small, rigid, arcane idea of One True religious path. Pow Wows, christian mystics, hedgewitches, native american medicine carriers, and other healers have blended traditions for centuries. This is what Coelho does as well, in a fine and innovatively traditional manner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book after reading two of Coelho's other titles. I think this one is the best because it has a female protagonist. The story is a mixture of heroine on a quest, the search for the meaning and purpose in life and how to find ones soul mate. I found Coelho's use of past lives and the concept of we live the experience over and over till we get it right especially appealing! I recommend this book to readers who want to experience spirituality in the classic Coelho story telling style. A good gift for a person transitioning from one stage of life to another.
Aimee_Leon More than 1 year ago
This story was very fantastic and enjoyable. Also a quick read. So the book is a real page turner. Not a waste of time at all.The tale is very unique,and beautifully written. From all the characters senses, details and setting. This is the first time I've read a novel from Paulo Coelho. Brida is a young female character who experiences much growth & change through out the story both with her 2 mentors Wicca and Magus. Many of the secrets of the universe she learns are passed onto the audience simultaneously. A great fantasy with a twist of erotics blended beautifully well together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am always skeptical when it comes to reading a translation version. this one surprised me somewhat. I definitely would recommend this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I've not yet read this book I shall as I am taken to new places with Coehlo. Had I already read Brida I'm pretty sure I'd write a take II kind of review from that of my predecessor's. Coehlo's stories are never meant for the narrow-minded they become too scary.
lucthegreat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Made me realize that I should have stuck with The Alchemist (and possibly Onze Minutes). Coelho is confused.
pajakupj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Young girl is seeking for hers identity and she founds wicca as the way of life. There are information of wicca traditions and I have to seek for more of it in books of Scott Cunninghamn. Brida is written same way, what Cunninghamn tells in his books. I´m not sure what is the meaning of Coelho´s book. Is he telling us the tradition of wicca, or is he telling us the growing of young girl? Ofcourse finding your identity goes in a way Coelho tells to his readers. In Brida´s life love, sexuality and other things exists. My opinion this book is very thin in it´s ideas. The wicca as motive is quite popular in the world and maybe this motive sells good. As a reading experiance the motive and plot is very thin.
athula on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a different kind of writer. a different style. but too much religious matters to be dealt with. while reading the book i had the uncertinity of the world of wicthcraft to explore. does it still exist. please somebody help me to find the answer.
Alliebadger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked up Brida because I am absolutely in love with The Alchemist, and I was a little disappointed. I thought Brida was a very good book, but it is much more heavy-handed in its life lessons, whereas The Alchemist doles out evenly along with story. All in all, it was a little more ethereal than my taste generally runs, but I still enjoyed the book.
harperhaven on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really liked this at first. It raised several questions I had never thought about before. Then it just became tiresome. It didn't move along at a very good pace and I found myself just wishing it would end.
dksthomson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I seek out books where the story is set in Ireland, but I have to say that this book was a disappointment. All fluff, no substance.
mimi1o1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked it, its a light read. The pacing is not that fast. As the author Paulo Coelho dwells more on life's stories and self discoveries. You will still find this an interesting read and learn something from the story as the characters are torn into decisions on goal-setting, destiny, love, responsibility.
phoenixcomet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not nearly as brilliant as The Alchemist, I enjoyed Brida but left feeling disappointed after his Coehlo's brilliance in some of his other books. Brida is a young Irish woman on a quest to find her true self which leads her to the practice of Wicca and modern day witches. I suppose the point of the story was really about soul mates and true love but it didn't have the punch I was looking for.
seph on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a strange little book, a peculiar and sometimes flat story of a young woman seeking out two spiritual advisors on two not entirely different paths. It was a story of students and teachers, of searching, faith and soul mates. I've read some angry reviews over the mix of Wicca and Christianity used in this story, but I've known people who considered themselves to be following both paths, so that didn't throw me too much. This wasn't a wildly inspiring story or a page turner at all really, but it was still somehow a satisfying read in a way I can't quite put my finger on. One of the teachers in this story uses a technique with her student where she sets her focus, and then rambles on and on in a quiet and mundane manner, setting the student's mind adrift in a sort of hallucinatory meditation or scrying exercise. It seems that Coelho does the same for the reader with this book, setting up a few ideas and then pulling the reader gently through a quiet story while the subconscious is encouraged to wander. The book didn't leave me with any profound concepts, ideas or revelations, but then it hasn't really left me yet either. It was a strange but not at all unpleasant read.
kakadoo202 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
because of the Tradition of the Moon you can geuss the interior of a shop window? Either this book is too deep for me or it is just all made up and makes no sense. I usuallly love his books but this is not one I woudl recommened.
maiamaia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was always snotty about Paulo Coelho and I take it back, he's perfectly readable, even if he is no Turgenev - he's not a bad writer. Book very boring though, unless you're interested in magic, and even then it warns, that magic rituals are described out of context and must not be imitated, rather, tuition sought. So why waste the second two thirds on descriptions of magic rituals? It's fine, if not my bag especially, until then, then it gets boring. As I hadn't heard of it but I have many of his other books, and as the problem is the plot dead end, I imagine some of his other books are a good read, so try 'The Alchemist' or something.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Me encanto, crei que era mas simple, pero me robo la trama
Kytiekat More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It opened me up to an understanding in which I was very skepitical about. i have read several of his books thus far and with everyone I have read I open myself up to a whole new understanding on spirituality and a hidden part of my life which I have been learning to embrace through his books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like that the author passes down many of the teachings that Brida goes through to the reader (as he does in most of his books). I did not like the fact that the book is about this girl, seeking in a path of "witchcraft" when in fact the paths are based on christian dieties while they do pagan practices. It does not make sense to me and will seem contradicting to both pagans and christians alike. Then her search for her soul mate... I will not spoil it. Read if you want to know ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago