Title: The Devil and Miss Prym
Author: Paulo Coelho
Publisher: HarperCollins, London
The life of 281 people living in Viscos – a remote traditional village, was changed when a stranger came to visit. This mysterious foreigner has brought the Devil to the village and tempted these people with wealth which would help this struggling village to survive its bad time. The catch? They have to commit a conscious evil. Soon, this small village became a battleground for the good and evil. Who won?
Would the villagers accept the challenge to save their village? What’s this stranger’s motives?
In the author’s note it is said that this book is the conclusion of a trilogy. The first two books are: “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
“, and “Veronika Decides to Die
“. These three books, Coelho claimed, are the pictures of the battle of the good and the evil which could change someone’s life in one week. I have to be very honest because I have not read the first book, but I have read “Veronika Decides to Die
“, and I should say that this book is so much better than “Veronika”. Maybe just the story itself, maybe the characters, or maybe the style of the storytelling.
What is so interesting about this book is that although the sentiment that was brought up was “good vs evil”, we were not presented with the “hero vs villain” kind of tale. All the characters were described in a detailed and very humanly. Their reactions when they were exposed with fear, sadness, disappointment, and other kind of emotions were visualised in a very light yet elaborated, in a way we can start to understand why these people did what they did.
The way Coelho portrayed the village of Viscos was so amazing you can imagine what kind of village it was, what kind of people lived there, and how life went in this place. It was the ability to evoke the mind of the readers to see what he picture with words.
This book was quite thin, just like “Veronika Decides to Die
“, and could be a light reading if you don’t want to dissect part by part and try to understand the philosophical aspect in it. However, in this thin book you can see a lot of conflicts going on in a really high intensity. The emotion of the readers would be played up and down although you might have guessed how it would end.
Am I going to recommend this book? Yes of course. I would rate it 9/10 – Excellent.