The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

December 5, 2008
By H. Attix, Chapel Hill, NC

“Why did you want to see me?” the boy asked.
“Because of the omens,” the alchemist answered.
“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person realize their dream,” said the alchemist, echoing the words of the old king. The boy understood. Another person was there to help him toward his Personal Legend.
“So are you going to instruct me?”
“No. You already know all you need to know. I am only going to point you in the direction of the your treasure.”

Santiago is a shepherd. He is 18 at the beginning of the book but by the end he is 21. He left his old life with his family in Spain to travel and be a shepherd. Once, he decides to stay the night with his sheep at an old, ruined church. He has a recurrent dream of finding treasure at the pyramids, so he goes to see a fortuneteller gypsy to interpret what his recurring dream means. Then, he goes to Egypt in search of his treasure. Along the way, he meets many people that help him to get there, but he also discovers his Personal Legend. Can he get through tough times and still find treasure, experience and love?

This book is definitely one of my favorites. If you are in to omens and the language of the world, like I am, then you would probably like The Alchemist because it has a lot about that and the universe and finding your Personal Legend. But if you usually don't read adult-like books then you might not like this because it has a lot of grown-up, mature, and serious parts. The only bad thing about this book is that even though the boy's name is Santiago, the book constantly calls him “the boy” which can get very confusing. Also, the only time that his name is mentioned is at the very beginning.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a wonderful, inspiring story packed with wisdom and courage and shows the real meaning of true love and perseverance.

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