Written By: Paulo Coehlo
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
Pages: 288 pages
Age Range: 18+
My Rating: ★★★1/2
My Review: This book is only the second of Paulo Coehlo’s books I’ve ever read. The first was The Alchemist that I read just about one year ago at the behest of a friend of mine. It’s where I learned about destiny and journeys and how, no matter how far you may go or travel, and how many experiences you might gain and grow from, what you are looking for most may be what’s been in front of you all along. So much irony in that thought. But it’s not the destination that should be our driving force when we live our lives, but the journey. That is the important life lesson learned in this book. I believe this is the first, most personal account, he has given of his life. By that I mean it is written from his point of view.
He decides to go on a book tour, saying yes to any country that invites him, in hopes he should find his “fire” again, his reason for being. Somewhere along the journey of his life he found himself losing that spark he had decades ago. Don’t we all feel that way as we get older? I know I am feeling that way. Where do we go from here? What’s the point in continuing? Why am I doing this? These are all questions that have their own different and unique answers depending on when and who is asking the questions.
The first half of this book, I felt, was easily relatable to myself. I was able to take those pearls of wisdom he sprinkles throughout whatever he write and apply them to myself with no problem. But as the book progresses passed the mid-point it begins to take on a more personal tone, dealing with a very ancient love affair he acknowledges having with a perfect stranger who shows up during his book tour and insists on completing the journey with him. Hillal is her name and she is only 20 (I think) which makes those who actually ARE traveling with Paulo raise concerns about why he is allowing her to travel with him while his wife has opted to return home, feeling he needed to continue on this journey without her. What is discovered and what exactly the “aleph” is, I will leave for you to discover on your own. We all have our own paths to create. If you were looking for a time, or at least a starting point, any Paulo Coelho book, especially this one, is a good way to start.
Read In: 6 days