Book Review: Manuscript Found in Accra

July was the best month for my reading routine. I got to read, like, 6 books and none of them disappointed me. I had a long list for August's to-read list but with college starting, a bundle of homework and my back-and-forth travelling didn't let me read much. Though it's just the start of September and I'm going to be back to my book club soon, so the reading schedule has got to be fine. I also realized how I don't love YA genre anymore. I used to read young adult novels only, but that was a time. I am becoming more interested in philosophy, political thrillers and non-fiction. Trust me, these genres used to bore me to death, but now I can't help myself.
Paulo Coelho was the author of the month in our last book club meeting. I had decided to read each book that we discussed there. Adultery, Witch of Portobello and Manuscript found in Accra were on the top of my list. I finished all these books, but the only one that kept me hooked was this one, Manuscript Found in Accra.
By the name and Prologue, I was expecting a story, twisted with history and Coelho's philosophy. But it turned out to be a solid philosophy book that didn't include a story. It really bored me at the start. Blame is on me since I was the one who had expectations. Once I started the book, I couldn't stop.

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 the truth. 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, elegance, and what the future holds. 

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.
I absolutely loved this book. It lacked story, but the purpose of this book wasn't to convey a story but few messages that cleared a lot of things for me. I have been a fan of Paulo Coelho ever since I read The Alchemist few years ago. His only book that isn't a favorite of mine is The Witch of Portobello (Main reason? I couldn't relate to the philosophies described in the book)
The book I am currently discussing is divided into questions and their answers given by the wise man just before the eve of the invasion. They are about simple traits of life. From love to solitude, defeat to victory, everything was so precisely told. There were some moments when I realized I was holding back my tears because it all sounded so realistic.
At some points in life, a solid help or inspiration is required to move forward. Since it's based on an actual manuscript from Accra, it's hard to imagine how people back then would have been feeling. The fear of being under an attack, losing their homeland and having no shelter, it's too much to think about. In those moments of chaos, an inspirational speech would have been like God-sent help.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Only he who gives up is defeated. Everyone else is victorious."

“Love is an act of faith in another person, not an act of surrender.”

“Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life.”

“The greatest gift God gave us is the power to make decisions.”

“Love lasts because it changes and not because it stays the same and never faces any challenges.”

Involving History, inspirational quotes and tons of philosophy, it's a great book. Let me repeat, it doesn't convey a story but gives a bunch of solid answers about life problems as love, anxiety, elegance and more. Maybe you'll love it, maybe you'll dislike it to a great extent. It's just about what you want to read at the given moment.

My ratings: 5/5 (OMG GO READ IT)

What was your last read? Did you like it?

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  1. I love Paolo Coelho's work, he's a genius.

  2. My last read was Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver! I actually wrote a review here: Before I Fall Book Review

    Anyway, based on your review I would definitely add it on my reading list! Besides I love his books :)

  3. I want to read this book!! Thanks for reminding me! :o Sidenote, I have sucked at reading novels lately! u_u x

    Jadirah Sarmad | Jasmine Catches Butterflies ʚϊɞ

  4. Too much philospphy in a single book

  5. I almost got this book because of that beautiful cover but then I was like, naah I probably wouldn't read it soon LOL. You, my friend, have definitely branched out and reading serious stuffs! I get such weird looks from my peeps because I read YA sighhh. I got the book version of Adultery couple of months back but obviously, I haven't started it yet because I'm weird that way. I love these quotes though. They're beautiful. You must review Adultery, so I can get a friendly opinion about the book lol.


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