Review: By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho.

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I opened this book with NO expectation’s. Many people take Paulo Coelho’s books with this expectations that it will be as good as The Alchemist is. But no book will ever be good as Alchemist is. So, for me this book was quite unexpected but in a good way. I have read many books of Paulo but this book was quite exception of Paulo’s writing. It was desperate, Spiritual and so knowledgeable. I quite learned about Christianity, Spirituality. Love and Decisions.


“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.”

And so the novel starts out. The most beautiful opening paragraph I’ve ever read in my life. And unless you are heartless or have never been in love, I don’t know how this wouldn’t at least rank somewhere on your list of most beautiful passages.

“By the River Piedra I sat down and wept. There is a legend that everything falls into the waters of this river – leaves, insects, the feathers of bird – is transformed into the rocks that make the riverbed. If only I could tear out my heart and hurl it into the current, then my pain and longing would be over, and I could finally forget.” 

tumblr_lwdcy6cns71r46fnpo1_500 This book was told by the protagonist Pilar’s POV, she took us from the streets of Zargoza to the mountains of France to the river of Piedra. For not believing in Love to falling in love. This book showed us different phases of a human’s life to her journey to the life of spirituality. This book’s main focus was on the female face of GOD. That women’s have been degraded from the early era to now, that Male God’s have been more in light then women’s. This book really thought so many tales and knowledge about Virgin Mary. Which for me was quite interesting. As a Muslim, after Islam the most interesting is Christianity. and this book provide alot of it.

“In real life, love has to be possible. Even if it is not returned right away, love can only survive when the hope exists that you will be able to win over the person you desire.”


By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept i carries a spiritual theme, as he touches quite a bit on the mystical nature of God. In this particular piece, he focuses on the young man’s belief in a feminine God that grants him the power to heal. and then their is Pilar, Pilar struggles to accept and embrace her feelings for him. He struggles to reconcile his love for the seminary, the gifts he has been given and the love he has held onto for so many years. While the beauty of their love story as it unfolds kept me wanting more, I found myself disappointed, especially toward the end when I didn’t feel the same intensity of emotions as I did with the opening paragraphs.


“But love is much like a dam; if you allow a tiny crack to form through which only a trickle of water can pass, that trickle will quickly bring down the whole structure and soon no one will be able to control the force of the current.”

Nonetheless, I enjoyed this book. I have two more books by Coelho that I want to read. And if you know me, you’ll know that there are VERY few authors from whom I’ve read more than one book. I must really like this guy. Recommended to all the fellow readers.

“That is why I write – to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance.”



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