By The River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept – Abby’s Book Review


“All love stories are the same”, Paulo Coelho mentioned in this book. We all make an effort to make our love story different from others’. But the truth is there are just three elements needed: a lover, another lover and love. Other than that, everything else in a love story are nothing but accessories.

That being said, Paulo Coelho had to add a twist to this love story to make it stand out from the others. The secret ingredient? – RELIGION. We all know religion adds a twist to all love stories because of the many arguments you could jeer from it. What I found amazingly interesting about this story is a lover’s acceptance of faith. We see many relationships either fall apart or fall into place because of religion. If I may ask, are you willing to convert to the religion of your boyfriend or girlfriend? If you do, would this be for the best interests of your faith and spirituality or for the sake of your relationship?

Pilar was a college student who has waited for 10 years to see his lover who is now in the seminary. His name was not mentioned in the book. He is a strong believer of the feminine side of God. The book was a narration of a 6 day journey where Pilar and the man are able to rekindle the love they thought was lost for 10 years. Pilar found love and found faith as well. She started to believe in the feminine side of God as well. You should read the book so you can patch the words/phrases  “lover”, “seminary” and “feminine side of God” all together for it to make sense.

One particular thing that I enjoyed about this book is how poetic all the important aspects of the story were on paper.

First Kiss

“This was the kiss I had waited for so long—a kiss born by the rivers of our childhood, when we didn’t yet know what love meant. A kiss that had been suspended in the air as we grew, that had travelled the world in the souvenir of a medal and that remained hidden behind piles of books. A Kiss that had been lost so many times and now was found. In the moment of that kiss were years of searching, disillusionment, and impossible dreams.” (148)

Waiting for Someone to Choose You over Something

“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. Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.” (95)

Finding New Love

“I’ve been in love before. It’s like a narcotic. At first it brings the euphoria of complete surrender. The next day, you want more. You’re not addicted yet, but you like the sensation, and you think you can still control things. You think about the person you love for two minutes, and forget them for three hours…But then you get used to that person, and you begin to be completely dependent on them. Now you think about him for three hours and forget him for two minutes. If he’s not there, you feel like an addict who can’t get a fix. And just as addicts steal and humiliate themselves to get what they need, you’re willing to do anything for love.” (54)

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It did not wow me but it moved me. It made me realize that we should always value what we have because, and I know this and have proven it many times (I know you have as well), you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.


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