Like a flowing river – Book Review


“Like a flowing river,” leads us into deep reflection and profound thinking. The author, Paulo Coelho, writes about his deep observations of life and society as a whole from his travels and personal experiences in his own life. The book draws us towards invaluable lessons that can be learned and insights found from our simple day to day lives.

The wealth of wisdom can be gained from ordinary tasks we do every day which in turn has the potential to bring a deep sense of peace within us.

I read this book a couple of times and still, I am always thrilled to learn something new or think in a deeper vein every time I read it. The sense of serenity that Coelho brings from simple descriptions, in turn, motivates us to attain that balance and calm in the ordinary pace of life. Some stories like the girl with the guitar in a faraway church made me feel that very essence of peace that the author wrote about. This book can be read in any order or on a daily basis to reflect on each message that it encompasses. The descriptions of every place he wrote were lucid, gripping and charmed us easily into every place he had been.

Best recommendation would be to read one or two chapters a day, dwell on it and try to extract the profound wisdom from it – one lesson a day. The philosophy in each of the chapters is practical and can be attainable if we seek it in our daily lives. Like the story about the wife who found peace from the short time she led with the famous author Henry Miller and didn’t care about the wealth that was denied to her but bestowed to his ex-wives as per the law, profoundly moved me. It shows us that happiness can be achieved through the act of mindfulness in our daily rituals which may include our passions such as music, writing, painting, dancing or anything where we achieve a sense of purpose and devotion in that very act. It also makes us rise above the monotony and humdrum of our daily lives and see ordinary moments as extraordinary. Inspiration to live life can be drawn from simple encounters and ordinary people. The magical feeling of finding a new treasure in the form of insights and perceptions kept me thirsty and seeking that elixir in every new chapter. Coelho’s writing is simple, yet engaging and easy flowing.

Loved these few lines he wrote referring to a profound message he recollected from the Hindu text, Bhagavad Gita, “ I remember the answer that Krishna gives to the warrior Arjuna, when the latter loses heart before a decisive battle, throws down his arms, and says it is not right to take part in a battle that will culminate in the death of his brothers. Krishna says, more or less: ‘Do you really think you can kill anyone? Your hand is My hand, and it was already written that everything you are doing would be done. No one kills and no one dies.’”

This message from the Bhagavad Gita has always moved me whenever I have been hesitant in speaking my truth or doing the right thing where my own people were concerned. I am glad it has made a difference to Coelho too. In this book, the magic of Paulo Coelho touches you again while leading your mind to plunge into those deeper realms of philosophy and tranquility.



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