If you have read Paulo Coelho, you must be aware of the fact that his books are packed with spiritual wisdom. One may or may not agree with his views, but they are sure to leave a mark in your heart and soul. You would not help but reflect on his words for a long time. Same goes for another one of his International Bestseller, The Valkyries – An Encounter with Angels. He has wrapped fiction with the real events of his life in this book but this wrapping is so discrete that I could not separate the two. I might have to write to the author to know what’s real and what’s not.
Paulo has been talking to his angel for a long time, which is not a surprising fact considering he has been learning magic as well. But there is a thing that has been bothering him for a while now. He hasn’t been able to see his angel. Now, it has become his ultimate desire to see his angel face to face. When Paulo visited his master, J., he suggested him to meet Gene. His master did not mention anything in a straightforward manner, yet Paulo knew that it is important to fulfill the task that J. has assigned to him. So, he starts his journey with his wife, Chris, to see Gene. The ultimate goal, however, for Paulo is to see his angel.
The plot is intriguing, but that’s nothing compared to the intellectual and spiritual conversations that are in abundance throughout the book. As a reader, I was curious to know whether Paulo would get to see his angel and whether the description of his angel would be believable (at least as close to being believable as possible, since none of us, I presume, have seen our angels). But more than that, I wanted to participate in the characters’ philosophical conversations. I wanted to pick up as many pearls of wisdom as possible.
The characters are defined beautifully and there is no disconnect. Chris’ frustration with her husband’s sudden quests for one thing or another helped me in connecting with her. She believes in her husband but can sense the flame is slowly dying and that bothers us. She supports him but everybody has a threshold. It seems Paulo has pushed her to that level.
When I was reading Veronika Decides to Die, the plot was more captivating than this one; however, both the books managed to enlighten me in one way or the other. With Veronika Decides to Die, I realized the value of the one life that we have been offered; whereas, with The Valkyries, I started believing in Angels and the importance of love.
Although the concept of angels seemed far-fetched to me before reading this book, I did not find any difficulty in connecting to the plot. The Valkyries’ rituals, however, broke that believability of my worldly brain. I tried really hard but could not comprehend their ritual. Probably, that became too hypothetical for me.
Other than that, I have no complaint with the book. Paulo Coelho has done what he does the best: enlighten the readers and push them to look beyond the materialistic boundaries. He opens our eyes to the spiritual world that surrounds us, which we are too blind to witness or even feel.