Book Review: The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho

Another amazing story was written by one of the biggest contemporary writers, and one of my personal favorites, Paulo Coelho. If you’ve never heard of him then you are probably living under a rock somewhere, but if you did, praise yourself this book is one of the best he’s ever written.

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The action is placed in Cannes during the film festival and it surrounds two former spouses who are now divorced, she is the one who left him for one of the world’s most talented designers. Igor, the ex-husband, is not accepting the fact that Ewa stopped loving him and will do anything in his power to convince her to come back. His plan is to destroy a couple of worlds, aka commit crimes, to get her attention, especially since he knows she and her lover are going to be present at the festival.

The story is taking place over one day and is narrated in turns by everyone who will interact with the couple, along with Igor and Ewa. The peace of the small French town is now threatened by a war in the name of love, in the most important time of the year, the film festival, that is gathering the most important people of the industry.

Apart from the main conflict, that of obsessive love, Coelho also offers a glance in the life of the most adulated people, the celebrities. Talks about the dark side of fame, the shallow life of those who are the actors in the play directed by the puppet masters that sit in the shadow, but also about the lives of those who aspire to get in the spotlight, even if, just for a moment.

I would say that The Winner Stands Alone is my favorite book from the author’s bibliography and, at least in my point of view, tops The Alchemist. Don’t know if this is because it describes the most notorious worlds, that of celebrities. The book made me question everything related to glamour and gave me an inside of a world that is always painted so pretty for the outsiders, even if the ones that are part of it comes at a high price.

The end of the book is not a happy one and definitely not what I’d expected. No, I will not spoil the surprise by telling you how it ends, but I will challenge you to read it, especially if you, like myself, are attracted to the glamorous life of the celebrities. Happy reading everyone!

Last Month’s Favorites: December 2018

December! One of my favorite months of the year! And not because of the snow, not even because of Christmas, but because of the holiday season. Two weeks of vacation with nothing to do, at least not officially, since we all know we need to pay visits to everyone from the family, clean the house, cook enough food to feed a small village, etc., but let’s not focus on that, but on the favorites list from last month.

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Since one of my wishes for this mini-vacation was to have a few days for my own, to read under the Christmas tree and just stay in my fluffy robe, I needed a few items to buy. One, some good books, a romantic winter story One Day in December (review here) and Paulo Coelho’s Winner Stands Alone (review will follow soon), and second the fluffy pink robe. I know it all sounds like a cliche but it really felt nice to stay at home, with a cheesy story and the mulled wine, relaxing when outside the weather is freezing. Even right now I am wearing the pink robe, I am madly in love with it.

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My hometown is a small one, from the northeastern part of the country, where usually during winter we have lots of snow and my personal nightmare, ice. Wearing hills is out of the question and since I am a fan of comfort with a passion for the urban style, I made a purchase that (duh) lead to some more shopping, a pair of Timberland’s boots, an oversized sweater and a pair of boyfriends jeans. I know the style is not for everyone, and some of you will never approve of such an outfit, I have to say that it fits me perfectly, it was even my outfit for the New Year’s Eve stay at home party. Leaving the joke aside, if you are looking for a pair of boots for the winter, search no more, the Timberland’s classic’s are so comfy and stylish.

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The last items from my favorite list were partly bought by me, part was given to me as a new house gift. I will start with the ones that I received from my best friend, an amazing house spray with Gingerbread from Zara Home and a Christmas cookie box that really made my home look stylish and smell amazing. As for what I purchased myself, well the list includes a fluffy white blanket, 2 pillows, also fluffy and a wooden tray.

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December was all about investing in me and in my comfort, after a crazy year filled with a lot of drama and stress at work, I finally managed to break free from the chains of responsibility and learn to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, a good story and some comfy clothes. It worked wonders for me, how was December on your end?

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