[Review] Manuscript Found In Accra written by Paulo Coelho


4 stars
ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Please note, this e-version may cause discrepancies in referencing.

“None of us can know what tomorrow will hold, because each day has its good and its bad moments” (9%).

“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” (69%).

Manuscript Found In Accra (MFIA) is uplifting, positive and motivational. If you have faith, no matter the form it takes, this book will bring you deeper into that faith. Yes, this book is essentially Christian but unlike what we see in the media, there is no harsh, indoctrinated preaching. The words are commonsense, practical and honest.

“The important thing is to get back on your feet. Only he who gives up is defeated” (12%).

I started reading MFIA after an horrific day at work. I was angry, I was tired, I was miserable and I wanted to throw in the towel, find a cave and never emerge. So many people took a little piece from me I no longer knew who I was. A mind and a body going through the motions with no purpose.

“Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life. Therefore, blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge. If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.” (15-17%).

My heart lifted. Someone else had felt, experienced, written my need for being alone. Suddenly, I realised others felt a similar longing.

“In solitude, they will learn that saying ‘No’ does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying ‘Yes’ is not always a virtue” (18%).

How many of us, daily, hourly or by the minute feel we cannot say ‘no’ without offending the person making the request. How many of us agree to undertaking tasks, or joining activities, going on outings, seeing a movie, listening to a song, all because saying ‘yes, ok’ is easier than saying ‘no’.  “The most terrible of all weapons is the word, which can ruin a life without leaving a trace of blood, and whose wounds never heal” (84%).

How do we explain to the person making the request that what fills their souls with joy and pleasure are thorns for us.

Perhaps for them it is as Coelho writes, “For those who feel oppressed by solitude, it is important to remember that at life’s most significant moments we are always alone… Take all of us, when we find ourselves face to face with that Unwanted Visitor, Death: we will all be alone at that most important and most feared moment of our existence” (18%).

To be perfectly honest, I could go through MFIA page by page and explain how if has enhanced my life and my outlook but to do so would diminish your own reactions. “May I look at myself as if this were the first time I had ever been in contact with my own body and my own soul” (46%). If you allow MFIA to become a part of your psych it will answer and address the problems, trials etc. you are experiencing. “No matter how you are feeling, get up every morning and prepare to let your light shine forth” (54%).

The reviews of other readers, for the most part, confirm my own thoughts. Many readers found something in the text that spoke directly to them. One, however, bemused me. A 26 year old, writing on Goodreads states, “I guess I’m too old and pessimistic for this…”  and I feel only sadness because the next 40 to 50 years of their lives is going to be an enormous disappointment.

I won’t end on this depressing note. MFIA is not about negativity. Instead, I finish with this;

“The simplest things in life are the most extraordinary. Let them reveal themselves” (56%).

“Go in peace” (92%).


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