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From Paulo Coelho, author of the international bestseller The Alchemist, comes a poignant, richly poetic story that reflects the depth of love and life.

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.

Topics: Spain, Trilogy, Philosophical, Adventurous, Heartfelt, Inspirational, Spirituality , Love, Journeys, Magical Realism, and South American Author

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061859953
List price: $10.99
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Symbolicread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I have always enjoyed Coelho's other books, but I found this one to be too blatantly religious for my tastes. It was well written, and expresses his views on the Christian Trinity poignantly. The love story is moving. The story moves along at a pace that is interesting. I just couldn't get past the strong religious tone.A young woman is contacted by her childhood sweetheart after many years. Upon meeting him again, the two must choose between their personal love for each and the divine love of their faith.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is one in a number of books I am reading written by this author I am trying to read them all , and so far I have liked all of them I have read. This was a very good book different than anything I have read before, I would recommend you read some of this authors books , simple and to the point but with a good message, this actually left me wanting to read it again. You have to watch his books thought(lol) sometimes they seem to turn up right when you need to hear what they are saying. ;0)read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Pants. I couldn't get through it. Condescending tone, and no real insight. Its likes he wants you to feel like you're being let in on a big insight. I don't know how he sells so many books. Catchy titles and women of a certain age I think.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I've been an avid reader of Mr. Coelho's books. I was first introduced to it by a close friend of mine and since then it's always on my list of books to read and enjoy. A book of lost and found love with a heavy religious aspect.Poetic with beautiful quotes and passages of love and the struggle that goes along with it. Well constructed spiritual book and easy enough book to read.read more
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the story about a couple who are not able to work out their relation ship together...not one of the best by coelhoread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
My first Coelho book. Initially I thought it was great. The story was relatively easy to follow, about a young woman taking a pilgrimage, the plot centering around her physical and spiritual journey. I'll be honest, I felt very noble and clever reading it, but as I went on, I found myself less able to describe what I learned from the book. This is the kind of book you definitely have to read twice (well for me at least) and THINK about, if you want to appreciate it.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Two childhood friends go on a journey together from Spain to the surrounding communities of the Pyrenees mountains. On their journey Pilar and her friend discuss the meaning of love, forgiveness and how to lead an adventurous life by taking risks to fulfill a dream. There is also the Pere who seems to become a mediator or advocate, a friend, between the man and woman. First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, BY THE RIVER PIEDRA I SAT DOWN AND WEPT by PAULHO COELHO. I've had good conversation whether confrontational or peaceable while reading through the pages. Whatever the tone of the moment ideas flowed like good wine pass the three people to me. The transition to another world of spirituality and beauty made me see that moments in my life can be full of meaning.I began the novel thinking one way, then, all of a sudden there was a switch in my mind. At first the male companion seemed to be the one capable and willing to teach Pilar the way to a spiritual life. I thought Pilar seemed more romantic. You know woman want romance. Man wants to pontificate about his great deeds. It is only after her male companion comes back from a time of solitude in the mountains do I see he is the one who will be changed by the woman's thoughts about forgiveness and what dream to follow in life. Oddly, when he comes from the mountaintop and meets the woman he grabs her and gives her a deep and intimate kiss. The kiss seems to say 'I want your body.' He is now willing to give up his life of spiritual growth in order to build a home with a white picket fence and do all that he thinks this woman, most women want for their lives. Here is the twisted dance. Pilar doesn't want any of the above. She wants to talk about spirituality.She wants to give her life away in service to other people. This is the walk, the journey she wants to share with her companion. I suppose both are striving to sacrifice themselves for one another in different ways.In order that Pilar's strong spirituality is not overlooked. Paulo Coelho mentions Saint Teresa of Avila along with Bernadette of Lourdes and Of course, the Virgin Mother who understands our suffering because she experiences the death of Her Son. Broadening his points the author includes Psalm 137. I still have parts of the Psalm rushing through my head like fresh water. I will feel neglectful not to add the Psalm to the end of my book review. Most of the journey is through the French countryside. I feel the flavor of their journey will seem more lasting and real if I leave the Psalm here in the French language. Of course I can only read it in the English.illuminatedleavesPsalm 137English Standard Version (ESV)How Shall We Sing the Lord's Song?137 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.2 On the willows[a] there we hung up our lyres.3 For there our captors required of us songs,and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”4 How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill!6 Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you,if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!7 Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem,how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare, down to its foundations!”8 O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed, blessed shall he be who repays you with what you have done to us!9 Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!biblegatewayread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Not a bad read for what it is, but not generally my sort of book. I prefer a more straightforward story that I can choose to interpret how I choose, rather than Coelho's spiritual fables, where the 'moral' can seem a little patronising. I thought it made some interesting points, I didn't hate it but I'm not sure I'd read it again, and it didn't inspire me to read the other three Coelho books that are sitting on my shelf.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I read this book in Spanish, but I figure it's in the benefit of this site to write the review in English. I've only read one other book from Paulo Coelho, El Alquimista/The Alquimist. I enjoyed it, as I enjoyed this one, though I found this one much harder to follow. Coelho's writing is full of metaphors, words and stories that can mean different things to everyone, but that are guaranteed to touch you in some way. This book is a love story, lovers who can seem to work out how to be together, whether because of where they live or where there current faith is at. It's a treat if you're into this type of stories, its dreadful if you are not.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a beautiful story, with blatant spiritual overtones to feminize God which I find nothing wrong with. It's another book I've read a couple times.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I had heard of Coelho before as kind of a bland spiritual writer. Thankfully my previous impression was totally wrong!The book followed a young woman, Pilar, who has gotten herself into a very complacent place in life, which she has worked hard for but does not move her in any way. Then she receives a letter from her former lover of her adolescent years. She finds he has become a spiritual teacher, espousing the blessings of the divine goddess. Her internal monologues, which comprise a large portion of the book, portray her in conflict about what to do with her life.Coelho writes with a frankness and lack of selfconsciousness about matters of the heart that in many authors' hands would come off tacky or cheesy. By midway through the book I was finding deep succor in his characters' bits of wisdom. While the book could pass as "Christian fiction," I get the impression that Coelho only uses that idiom to speak of human spirituality and love in a broader way.His style, which moved this reader, reminds me of Herman Hesse's Narcissus and Goldmund, a favorite from my teen years. The characters and their conflicts represent more abstract, archetypal dilemmas of life orientation and value systems. Coelho has written a parable for modern times.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This novel deals with the life of a young woman, Pilar, who denies herself several options in life to avoid suffering and vulnerability, until one day, when a long-lost childhood friend asks her to meet him. The next few days that she spends with him make her regain faith in God, learn to love unconditionally and to lose her fears. Expecting Paulo Coelho's novels to be free from references to God would be utterly foolish, but the elements of God and Christianity in this book were too strong for me. Still, a worthy read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Not as good as 'The Alchemist', but still a nice love story. Coelho's writing is just so awesome.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
After re-reading this, my love for it did not lessen but it actually grew. I am not a fan of Paulo Coelho but this one is exceptional. It is a combination of religion and love. It is sad and happy at the same time. I really do love the ending. It had an unexpected twist in the end which I truly love. I love Pilar's character, I can easily relate to her, her insecurities, her fears and her dreams. I recommend this to everybody.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A strange book centring predominantly around love and faith. The plot – about a girl taking a risk and following the man she loves into a new life – quickly becomes unclear, while the spiritual messages dotted throughout her journey are obviously ideas intended to provoke thought in the reader. Much is made, for example, of the Virgin Mary being a divine goddess, and the idea that God in any form must be a woman. Unlike The Alchemist, where the story and final message are clear, this is more subtle. I actually found it rather moving, though with an inadequate ending.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Symbolic
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I have always enjoyed Coelho's other books, but I found this one to be too blatantly religious for my tastes. It was well written, and expresses his views on the Christian Trinity poignantly. The love story is moving. The story moves along at a pace that is interesting. I just couldn't get past the strong religious tone.A young woman is contacted by her childhood sweetheart after many years. Upon meeting him again, the two must choose between their personal love for each and the divine love of their faith.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is one in a number of books I am reading written by this author I am trying to read them all , and so far I have liked all of them I have read. This was a very good book different than anything I have read before, I would recommend you read some of this authors books , simple and to the point but with a good message, this actually left me wanting to read it again. You have to watch his books thought(lol) sometimes they seem to turn up right when you need to hear what they are saying. ;0)
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Pants. I couldn't get through it. Condescending tone, and no real insight. Its likes he wants you to feel like you're being let in on a big insight. I don't know how he sells so many books. Catchy titles and women of a certain age I think.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I've been an avid reader of Mr. Coelho's books. I was first introduced to it by a close friend of mine and since then it's always on my list of books to read and enjoy. A book of lost and found love with a heavy religious aspect.Poetic with beautiful quotes and passages of love and the struggle that goes along with it. Well constructed spiritual book and easy enough book to read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
the story about a couple who are not able to work out their relation ship together...not one of the best by coelho
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
My first Coelho book. Initially I thought it was great. The story was relatively easy to follow, about a young woman taking a pilgrimage, the plot centering around her physical and spiritual journey. I'll be honest, I felt very noble and clever reading it, but as I went on, I found myself less able to describe what I learned from the book. This is the kind of book you definitely have to read twice (well for me at least) and THINK about, if you want to appreciate it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Two childhood friends go on a journey together from Spain to the surrounding communities of the Pyrenees mountains. On their journey Pilar and her friend discuss the meaning of love, forgiveness and how to lead an adventurous life by taking risks to fulfill a dream. There is also the Pere who seems to become a mediator or advocate, a friend, between the man and woman. First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, BY THE RIVER PIEDRA I SAT DOWN AND WEPT by PAULHO COELHO. I've had good conversation whether confrontational or peaceable while reading through the pages. Whatever the tone of the moment ideas flowed like good wine pass the three people to me. The transition to another world of spirituality and beauty made me see that moments in my life can be full of meaning.I began the novel thinking one way, then, all of a sudden there was a switch in my mind. At first the male companion seemed to be the one capable and willing to teach Pilar the way to a spiritual life. I thought Pilar seemed more romantic. You know woman want romance. Man wants to pontificate about his great deeds. It is only after her male companion comes back from a time of solitude in the mountains do I see he is the one who will be changed by the woman's thoughts about forgiveness and what dream to follow in life. Oddly, when he comes from the mountaintop and meets the woman he grabs her and gives her a deep and intimate kiss. The kiss seems to say 'I want your body.' He is now willing to give up his life of spiritual growth in order to build a home with a white picket fence and do all that he thinks this woman, most women want for their lives. Here is the twisted dance. Pilar doesn't want any of the above. She wants to talk about spirituality.She wants to give her life away in service to other people. This is the walk, the journey she wants to share with her companion. I suppose both are striving to sacrifice themselves for one another in different ways.In order that Pilar's strong spirituality is not overlooked. Paulo Coelho mentions Saint Teresa of Avila along with Bernadette of Lourdes and Of course, the Virgin Mother who understands our suffering because she experiences the death of Her Son. Broadening his points the author includes Psalm 137. I still have parts of the Psalm rushing through my head like fresh water. I will feel neglectful not to add the Psalm to the end of my book review. Most of the journey is through the French countryside. I feel the flavor of their journey will seem more lasting and real if I leave the Psalm here in the French language. Of course I can only read it in the English.illuminatedleavesPsalm 137English Standard Version (ESV)How Shall We Sing the Lord's Song?137 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.2 On the willows[a] there we hung up our lyres.3 For there our captors required of us songs,and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”4 How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill!6 Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you,if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!7 Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem,how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare, down to its foundations!”8 O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed, blessed shall he be who repays you with what you have done to us!9 Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!biblegateway
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Not a bad read for what it is, but not generally my sort of book. I prefer a more straightforward story that I can choose to interpret how I choose, rather than Coelho's spiritual fables, where the 'moral' can seem a little patronising. I thought it made some interesting points, I didn't hate it but I'm not sure I'd read it again, and it didn't inspire me to read the other three Coelho books that are sitting on my shelf.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I read this book in Spanish, but I figure it's in the benefit of this site to write the review in English. I've only read one other book from Paulo Coelho, El Alquimista/The Alquimist. I enjoyed it, as I enjoyed this one, though I found this one much harder to follow. Coelho's writing is full of metaphors, words and stories that can mean different things to everyone, but that are guaranteed to touch you in some way. This book is a love story, lovers who can seem to work out how to be together, whether because of where they live or where there current faith is at. It's a treat if you're into this type of stories, its dreadful if you are not.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a beautiful story, with blatant spiritual overtones to feminize God which I find nothing wrong with. It's another book I've read a couple times.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I had heard of Coelho before as kind of a bland spiritual writer. Thankfully my previous impression was totally wrong!The book followed a young woman, Pilar, who has gotten herself into a very complacent place in life, which she has worked hard for but does not move her in any way. Then she receives a letter from her former lover of her adolescent years. She finds he has become a spiritual teacher, espousing the blessings of the divine goddess. Her internal monologues, which comprise a large portion of the book, portray her in conflict about what to do with her life.Coelho writes with a frankness and lack of selfconsciousness about matters of the heart that in many authors' hands would come off tacky or cheesy. By midway through the book I was finding deep succor in his characters' bits of wisdom. While the book could pass as "Christian fiction," I get the impression that Coelho only uses that idiom to speak of human spirituality and love in a broader way.His style, which moved this reader, reminds me of Herman Hesse's Narcissus and Goldmund, a favorite from my teen years. The characters and their conflicts represent more abstract, archetypal dilemmas of life orientation and value systems. Coelho has written a parable for modern times.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This novel deals with the life of a young woman, Pilar, who denies herself several options in life to avoid suffering and vulnerability, until one day, when a long-lost childhood friend asks her to meet him. The next few days that she spends with him make her regain faith in God, learn to love unconditionally and to lose her fears. Expecting Paulo Coelho's novels to be free from references to God would be utterly foolish, but the elements of God and Christianity in this book were too strong for me. Still, a worthy read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Not as good as 'The Alchemist', but still a nice love story. Coelho's writing is just so awesome.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
After re-reading this, my love for it did not lessen but it actually grew. I am not a fan of Paulo Coelho but this one is exceptional. It is a combination of religion and love. It is sad and happy at the same time. I really do love the ending. It had an unexpected twist in the end which I truly love. I love Pilar's character, I can easily relate to her, her insecurities, her fears and her dreams. I recommend this to everybody.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A strange book centring predominantly around love and faith. The plot – about a girl taking a risk and following the man she loves into a new life – quickly becomes unclear, while the spiritual messages dotted throughout her journey are obviously ideas intended to provoke thought in the reader. Much is made, for example, of the Virgin Mary being a divine goddess, and the idea that God in any form must be a woman. Unlike The Alchemist, where the story and final message are clear, this is more subtle. I actually found it rather moving, though with an inadequate ending.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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