I would give this book three stars. Not as engaging as The alchemist. I ordered it because it says one of the themes is forgiveness, but I didn't really see that. I liked O'Henry's The Gift of the Magi better as a rendition of the story of two people sacrificing for each other, only to find that they had sacrificed the one thing that would make the gift they received one of value.
Gabrielle O. reviewed By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept on
I really have enjoyed many of Coehlo's work inthe past. While this book does not compare to one of my favorites, The Alchemist, it does have some interesting points such as the themes of faith, love, and following your dreams. I also enjoyed some of the stories within and the "quotables" which I will use, but it does not live up to his other titles.
Nonetheless, if you enjoy this genre. You shouldn't skip it.
After an eleven year separation, a woman who is a student and a man who has become a spiritual healer are reunited. As with much of his work, this is about the forces of good and evil and a couple's search for faith. He also explores in depth the concept of the female divinity. In one sense it has parallels to The Cloister and the Hearth; in another it builds from The Song of Bernadette, and to a lesser extent Zola's Lourdes. There is even a touch of The Gift of the Magi. This is well-written and may be enjoyable if you can absorb the allegory.
A very spiritual novel. Pilar, a young scholar feeling hopeless and worn down by life, is contacted by a childhood friend--who is now a charismatic spiritual leader. What follows is a moving story about the unfolding of their relationship, and the impact it has on Pilar. A delightful book.