If you like philosophical novels, novels that ingrain theory, methods and meanings, mystery and intrigue into your senses in such a way that you can almost visualize, touch, hear, smell and taste the story presented, then Maya, by Jostein Gaarder is a book for you.
Maya is set on a virgin-like, Fijian Island of Taveuini. We have an English writer, a flamenco dancer, her companion, and a biologist. The characters blend together, on the island, discussing life, its meaning, evolution, spirituality, and so much more. Passions flare, ideals and mores are illuminated.
At the foundation, Maya is a story about humanity, and how it relates to the universal whole, encompassing conversations between Ana, the flamenco dancer, and her companion, Jose that border on poetic philosophy. These conversations intrigue the English writer and the biologist to no end, bordering on the fanatical.
Historical fact is blended with fiction within the pages. Infusions of questioning whether there is a reason for our very being are strong overtones. This questioning had me moving back through the book in order to try to understand the philosophical theories.
The characters, themselves, seemed to move back and forth with their thoughts and ideas on life. So, Gaarder, in my opinion, also wanted the reader to ponder and question the issues in Maya.
Where do we come from? What is the scheme of things in the universe? These are some of the questions we ask ourselves, when reading the book, and some of the issues that Gaarder attempts to deal with.
We leave the book, when we finish, but the book does not leave us immediately, for we continue to wonder about fate, loss, friendship, family, and the meaning of relationships, and the meaning of life. That is a testament to Jostein Gaarder’s brilliant writing.
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