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By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by…

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (original 1994; edition 1997)

by Paulo Coelho

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3,392382,343 (3.4)21
Title:By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
Authors:Paulo Coelho
Info:Harper Perennial (1997), Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept: A Novel of Forgiveness by Paulo Coelho (1994)


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» See also 21 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
I loved this book. It was a little gem, not mamy pages, but very powerful.
It is a quick and easy read, looking at the book. What it is about will take some time to digest.
I'm sure my mind will often return to the story and ponder on bits and peaces. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Jul 9, 2016 |
I always feel I get a hold of Coelho's books just when I really need to hear what they're saying. This one is no exception; but I'm still uncertain how to read the signs in my life.

As usual I love his writing style. The world should speak in fables more - the universality of the message comes through more clearly.

And once again, I am reminded how much courage it takes for each of us to just honestly be ourselves.

Thank you, Paulo. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
Having read the title of the book already intrigued and knowing it was written by the infamous Poalo Coelho made me buy the book and finished it in one sitting. The novel indeed put me in tears as it was full of emotions as it depicts love and forgiveness, it was an eye opener in enhancing my spiritual beliefs as well. I love the line "We suffer because we feel we are giving more than we receive. We suffer because our love is going unrecognized. We suffer because we are unable to impose our own rules" it made a great impact on what's my perspective on love was. Indeed books from Coelho are simply amazing and inspiring. ( )
  Maddison18 | Mar 4, 2016 |
Great book I loved reading it and I love Paulo Coelho ( )
  LaBla | Feb 6, 2016 |

From Paulo Coelho, author of the international bestseller The Alchemist , comes a poignant, richly poetic story that reflects the depth of love and life. Rarely does adolescent love reach its full potential, but what happens when two young lovers reunite after eleven years? Time has transformed Pilar into a strong and independent woman, while her devoted childhood friend has grown into a handsome and charismatic spiritual leader. She has learned well how to bury her feelings . . . and he has turned to religion as a refuge from his raging inner conflicts. Now they are together once again, embarking on a journey fraught with difficulties, as long-buried demons of blame and resentment resurface after more than a decade. But in a small village in the French Pyrenees, by the waters of the River Piedra, a most special relationship will be reexamined in the dazzling light of some of life's biggest questions.

My take: 2 looks
One review of this book used the words "metaphysical allegory". I should have known then what I would think upon finishing this book. There is a subtitle of "A Novel of Forgiveness".

I don't really know where to start. Pilar is a young woman who is quite conflicted. She thinks she has had a good life, but upon reflection, decides that it was more like quicksand and only served to hold her back. Faced with a man from her past who has fallen deeply in love with her over the past eleven years (of having no contact with her whatsoever), she is like an oscillating fan: back and forth and back and forth. Does she love him? Should she go back to school? No, she doesn't love him. Wait! Yes! Yes, she does love him.

This man, whose name we never know, communicates with the Virgin Mary, performs miracles and feels the calling to spread the feminine-side of the gospel. He goes out half-clothed into the snow to enter into a trance to finally decide whether he should be a religious zealot or a man in love with a woman he barely knows.

They both exorcise themselves of The Other, which seems to be the negative, questioning, realistic, grown-up side of each person's personality. The Other has to stand in the corner and try to sneak back in on occasion, but it doesn't seem to be too stealthy.

All of this felt very overly dramatic and sophomoric (like watching two high-schoolers trying to one-up each other when it comes to "I love you but I must leave you and it's going to tear me apart but I'm going to do it again and again to prove my martyrdom" mentality). Coelho takes himself much too seriously if this is the way the trilogy (this is the first in the And On the Seventh Day series) plays out. However, because of the sheer cleverness of the title of the second in the series, Veronika Decides to Die, I have added it to my list.

I can't recommend this one. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paulo Coelhoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Clarke, Alan R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piippo, JaanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
But wisdom is justified by all her children - Luke 7:35
For I. C. and S. B, whose loving communion made me see the feminine face of God; for Monica Antunes, my companion from the beginning, who with her love and enthusiasm spreads the fire all over the world; for Paulo Rocco, for the joy of the battles we have fought together and for the dignity of the battles we have fought between us; and for Matthew Lore, for not having forgotten a sage quotation from the I Ching: "Perseverance is favorable."
First words
By the river Piedra I sat down and wept.
Every day, God gives us the sun - and also one moment in
which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy. Every day, we try to pretend that we haven't
perceived that moment, that it doesn't exist - that today is the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if people really pay attention to their everyday lives, they will discover that magic moment. It may arrive in the instant when we are doing something mundane, like putting our front door key in the lock; it may lie hidden in the quiet that follows the lunch hour or in the thousand and one things that all seem the same to us. But that moment exists - a moment when all the power of the stars becomes a part of us and enables us to perfom miracles.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Book description
Tijdens een reis van een week door de Pyreneeën ontmoet Pilar, een studente uit Barcelona, een jeugdvriend van wie zij altijd is blijven houden. Deze vriend koestert gelijke gevoelens voor haar, maar zijn probleem is dat hij op het punt staat zich tot priester te laten wijden.
Via deze aangrijpende liefdesgeschiedenis toont Coelho ons de vrouwelijke kant van God. Dit prachtige boek werpt een ander licht op de kracht van de liefde en de ervaring van het spirituele. [Bol.com]
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061122092, Paperback)

This first United States paperback of By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept comes after huge worldwide sales of the novel of faith, romance, miracles, and the importance of following the heart's true path. The inspirational tale follows Pilar, a young woman from the Spanish countryside who, sparked by the teachings of a now-mysterious man she has known and loved since childhood, leaves her graduate studies and embarks on a spiritual pilgrimage through the Pyrenees Mountains and reevaluates her life and her future. Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, author of the international bestseller The Alchemist, is considered to be one of the most widely-read Latin American writers in the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:31 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Pilar, an independent young woman, renews her relationship with a childhood friend who is now a maverick seminarian, and together they follow a spiritual path to true love.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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