By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept: Book Review + Fave Quotes


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.


I was scrolling through my old blog when I saw the post I wrote about this book. I got this last 2014 as a gift for my 18th birthday and ever since I read this, it has always been a part of my “recommended” list.

By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept is about two childhood friends who was reunited after eleven years and realized that they are still in love with each other. Sounds cheesy, right? Well, I am so sorry to disappoint but for some of you who have read Coelho’s work/s, you know that it’s not easy. It will never be easy.

Especially for the guy in this story.

He’s torn between two options — either he choose his life now being a spiritual charismatic leader or he choose to live his life with the girl that he loves. For someone who’s really close to God, I know how torn he’s feeling. It really is hard to choose especially when God is involved.

This book is about forgiveness. About waiting. About how powerful love is. It is also for those who have (or almost) lost their faith in God but did not give up and decided to still hold on to Him and trust Him in the end.

RATING: 5/5 ★

I have read a saying once that says a book is never a good book unless it changed you or something in you; By The River Piedra is the epitome of that line for me. It is exceptionally heart-touching and as I’ve said earlier, every time someone asks me about what book to read, aside from Everyday by David Levithan, I always recommend this book.

I’ve recommended this to a few people and none of them had bad reviews about it. So if you have time or you’re currently looking for a book to read, I hope you give this book a chance and talk to me about it after.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite quotes from the book that I’d love to share with you!


Regardless of whether we love once, twice, or a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand-new situation. Love can consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always takes us somewhere. We simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack the courage to stretch out a hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life. We have to take love where we find it, even if that means hours, days, weeks of disappointment and sadness.

The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us. And to save us.

◈ ◈ ◈

The heart decides, and what it decides is all that really matters.

◈ ◈ ◈

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.

◈ ◈ ◈

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.

◈ ◈ ◈

You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.

◈ ◈ ◈

God always offers us a second chance in life.

◈ ◈ ◈

All of us have had this experience. At some point, we have each said through our tears, “I’m suffering for a love that’s not worth it.” 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. But ultimately there is no good reason for our suffering, for in every love lies the seed of our growth. The more we love, the closer we come to spiritual experience. Those who are truly enlightened, those whose souls are illuminated by love, have been able to overcome all of the inhibitions and preconceptions of their era. They have been able to sing, to laugh, and to pray out loud; they have danced and shared what Saint Paul called “the madness of saintliness.” They have been joyful—because those who love conquer the world and have no fear of loss. True love is an act of total surrender.

◈ ◈ ◈

My heart told me that I was in love. And I fell asleep with a smile on my lips.

◈ ◈ ◈

Thank you, Lord, because I was a lost sheep, and you brought me back. Because my life was dead, and you revived it. Because love wasn’t alive in my heart, and you gave me back that gift. Thank you, Lord, for helping me to serve. Teach me to be worthy of that.

Aaand that is it for this post!

How about you? Have you read this book already? Or have you read any of Paulo Coelho’s books? What are your thoughts about it? If not, which favorite quote of mine above touched your heart? Let’s talk about it in the comments section! I love talking about books, let’s do this!

Love, Amielle

READ: Take a look on all the books I have read // Book Reviews

24 thoughts on “By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept: Book Review + Fave Quotes

  1. Hello Amielle girl. I actually don’t like Coelho. I’ve read Eleven Minutes and The Alchemist and found them way too didactic for my taste. Coelho spits lessons on spirituality at the expense of compelling characters and a well-paced plot. Parang mas nababagay ang mga gawa niya sa Self-help section kaysa Fiction, pero ako lang naman ‘yun hehe. Maybe one day I could give River Piedra a try! :)


    1. Sinearch ko pa kung ano ‘yung didactic, Ate… :( HAHAHA. I agree. Medyo ganun nga ‘yung way ng pagsusulat niya. Hindi ko rin nagustuhan ‘yung The Alchemist kahit ang daming good reviews online. Though maganda naman talaga ‘yung lesson na gusto niya iparating dun sa story. :)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. True, true. Siguro nakokornihan lang talaga ako sa mga kuda niya tungkol sa buhay, pero gets ko kung saan nanggagaling ang appeal ni Coelho. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Favorite ko si Paulo Coelho before. I have most of his books pero tinigil ko yung pagbasa sa kanya kasi medyo yun nga, sabi ni Jolens na parang di siya bagay for fiction. Maganda ung plot, lesson, etc pero di ko na siya peg haha. Parang di ka kasi pinagiisip? Baka ako lang un!! Pero thanks to this post, babasahin ko ulit ung books ko to see if ganun pa din tingin ko sa kanya!


  3. I love this book! Thanks for providing your favorite quotes too, I shall check my list of fave quotes from this book mehehe. I’m currently reading The Alchemist, so far, okay pa naman ako. I mean I’m after the life lessons. Most of the things he write is very applicable with life kaya nagugustuhan ko ngayon haha.


    1. Yaaay!! Buti okay ka pa so far with The Alchemist! Haha. Ako di ko alam ba’t parang hirap na hirap ako tapusin ‘yung book na ‘yan. Siguro dahil masyado rin ako nag-expect na good siya for my taste kasi ang daming good reviews online. I agree with you; more on life lessons talaga ‘yung books niya. Ang lalim rin minsan, ‘no? Hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not super fond of Coelho (the comment from Jolens above is basically why) but this book is probably the exception. I especially loved the line, “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.” It really resonates with me because of some personal life experiences hahaha (although mine doesn’t involve spirituality the way this book does).


    1. Gusto ko rin ‘yang quote na ‘yan! :) May love-hate ako sa books ni Ninong Paulo eh. Etong River Piedra, love ko s’ya. Pero ‘yung other books niya like The Alchemist, hirap na hirap akong tapusin. Na parang dine-dread ko nalang ‘yung sarili ko para matapos siya.. Though I appreciate naman na his books are more of life lessons din nga talaga. :)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Same feels about The Alchemist! Pero kakaiba talag yung River Piedra no? I think it might be because mas compelling and relatable yung characters? They feel better written kumbaga.


  5. This ain’t my favorite line but this is what my feeling’s going through~
    “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.”
    Been reading uplifting books like shame lifter by marilyn hontz. Been trying to overcome all the toxic shames that’s been resting and living inside me unknowingly for the past years.


  6. Keep sharing here aa. I’ll be glad to read and stand by in your site again. 😊😊. Halos lahat ata ng posts mo touches my ❤. Iyong aura mo natatabgay aki😍. Keep that spirit. I’ll be healed soon. Sa ngayon , salamat cause I was given a chance to meet friends like you in ‘this way’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nirecommend s’ya sa’kin nung close friend ko! Medyo nag-lie low ako kay Ninong Paulo after The Alchemist kasi medyo ‘di ko nagustuhan ‘yung pagkakakwento though okay ako sa plot. Ewan ko ba. Haha. Nagustuhan mo ba ‘yun?

      Pero try ko rin ‘yung Veronika. :)


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