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

Genre: Romance, Fiction

This book is proof that Paulo Coelho is the only author who can turn spirituality into poetry. Right from the beginning, you see a sunrise of a poetic love story that sets very cleverly at the end.

“Legend says that the River Piedra is so cold that anything that falls into it – leaves, insects, the feathers of birds – is turned to stone.”

By the River Piedra is a book about love- love for an old school sweetheart, love for breathing in the miracles of life and love for the feminine side of God and religion. Pilar finds herself meeting her childhood lover after eleven years only to find him so spiritually awakened. Love is not on her mind when she first meets him but the rains of small miracles work their magic along the way. She discovers his world and in this world, the readers discover their faith; this faith is something you may not have ever expected to seek, for it is a faith of the enlightened. 

This book underlines the patience behind every spiritual belief, flushes positive vibes through its readers and is calm in its demeanour just like the River Piedra; it turns our doubts about love and belief into solid stones of truths. It makes us pray and believe that even when we are swept off in an endless cyclone of despair, miracles persevere and reach out to those who have the guts of believing in the unseen.

And even if the cyclone prevails and changes your horizons, this book will help you recover your faith.

A handful of some of my favourite quotes:

  1. Seek to live. Remembrance is for the old.
  2. All love stories are the same.
  3. I noticed that his voice hadn’t changed. But his words certainly had.
  4. Everyday God gives us the sun and also one moment in which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy.
  5. Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow.
  6. I was there because suddenly life had presented me with Life.
  7. The song was right: it must have been the lunatics who invented love.
  8. “Let’s lie down on the ground and feel the planet’s heart beating.”
  9. But it’s better to lose some of the battles in the struggle for your dreams, than to be defeated without ever even knowing what you’re fighting for. 
  10. The Gods throw the dice, freeing love from its cage. And love can create or destroy-depending on the direction of the wind when its is set free. For the moment, the wind was blowing in his favour. But the wind is as capricious as the Gods-and deep inside myself, I had begun to feel some gusts.
  11. ..and the universe always conspires to help the dreamer.
  12. This was a silence that spoke for itself.
  13. The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us. And save us.
  14. We are our own greatest surprise.
  15. …all wisdom was the result of listening to one’s own soul.
  16. We are all a part of that same miracle.
  17. These pains are not the kind that hurt.
  18. God hides the fires of hell within paradise.
  19. What I remember is that love returned in the form of another man, new hopes and new dreams.
  20. Dreams mean work.

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