The new bestselling novel, now in paperback, from international literary phenomenon Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist. A chance meeting in Rio takes Maria to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune, yet ends up working the streets as a prostitute. In Geneva, Maria drifts further and further away from love while at the same time developing a fascination with sex. Eventually, Maria's despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness, 'sexual pleasure for its own sake', or risking everything to find her own 'inner light' and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love. A daring modern fable about the nature of love and sex.