Book Review: By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept by Paulo Coelho

“If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible. If he has to make a choice, may he make it now. Then I will either wait for him or forget him.”

― Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

This moving tale about the depth of love and life is written by Paulo Coelho, the best-selling author of The Alchemist.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

 Rarely does adolescent love reach its full potential, but what happens when two young lovers reunite after eleven years? Time has transformed Pilar into a strong and independent woman, while her devoted childhood friend has grown into a handsome and charismatic spiritual leader. She has learned well how to bury her feelings… and he has turned to religion as a refuge from his raging inner conflicts.

Now they are together once again, embarking on a journey fraught with difficulties, as long-buried demons of blame and resentment resurface after more than a decade. But in a small village in the French Pyrenees, by the waters of the River Piedra, a most special relationship will be reexamined in the dazzling light of some of life’s biggest questions.

My reaction to this novel...

This story unfolds as a journey from fragmentation to wholeness. It culminates in a significant and pivotal shift in the lives of the protagonists, inspiring readers to examine their own lives and embark on their own life journeys. This story is the culmination of an emotional journey. The genuine meaning of love, the urge to dream and follow one’s fantasies, the worry of seeing your loved one injured by your fantasies, and the female aspect of God as an integral component of our interaction with everyone around us are all elegantly woven into this embroidered artwork.

The narrative is complete in itself, and it will interest, sustain, and cause you to ponder on events in your life. The book is written in the style of The Alchemist, and it is clearly a story for our benefit. Rather than the more abrasive experience of Valkyries or even Pilgrimage, it had an otherworldly quality for me. The exceptional quality, I believe, stems from the affection that pervades the tale like a subtle fog. After all, love is a kind of divine franticness, the point where the powerful collide with our everyday existence. While telling this anecdote, Coelho may have sought to capture such quality in his life and the people around him. If this is so, he has worked really hard to bring this tale to reality.

This book is excellent! It read more like a verse or tune to me, and I enjoyed it from start to finish. I urge that everyone read this; it will make you think on the various elements and strength of love, as well as our drive for enlightenment, while also providing beautiful stories of the novel’s main characters.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4/5)


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