The Devil and Miss Prym
By: Paulo Coelho
It’s funny that this is the second novel in a row I’ve read dealing with the devil in some way, shape or form. In any case, this novel follows the tradition Paulo Coelho has made in previous books about undergoing a journey of sorts to self-discovery about some aspect of the human condition. This novel is no different, perhaps devling a bit more into the morality of humanity. I was surprised to learn that this book was the final book in this “Seventh Day trilogy”, which comprised also of “Veronika Decides to Die” and “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept” (books I have—had I known they were a trilogy, I would’ve re-read the other two mentioned, even though they are not connected by any particular character). If “Veronika Decides to Die” had a lot to do with the person dealing with herself in the world and “By the River Piedra…” had to do with the person dealing with their significant other, then this book has a lot to do with the person dealing with the community they are connected to. The story is simple but the questions it raises are profound and quite relevant. If there’s anything that’s somewhat different, it’s the absense of a strong dialogue between an individual and the other spirit so-to-speak—that is to say, it’s there, and the stranger and Miss Prym do have discussions with this menacing voice inside of them, but it’s not as strong as in “By the River Piedra…” with Pilar and the Other where it almost takes over. Here it’s more subtle, which is nice because it allows the exchanges between the community members to take a more prominent role. This novel also shows the contradictions that exist within human beings and the choices that we are often confronted with. All in all, a quick but fascinating and introspective read in the manner of Paulo Coelho.