Any readers of Paulo Coelho's novels will be familiar with his style; the conceit of the master, the guide, the religious links, to all religions and none, the sound bites, the lessons about life. All exist here told honestly, and written with a clear voice that seeks to find understanding in all languages. I think Paulo is an optimist who has decided to 'sell' humanity a new selection of 'reasons to enjoy life' and he makes his case very beautifully in this book. The proximity of death or possible death hangs over us all, so what are our options? To accept, to be scared, or to dare to believe in something greater, which makes death meaningless?
Over the years I, as many readers have, expected more 'alchemists' only to be surprised, delighted and perhaps sometimes disappointed in the characters Paulo chooses to write about. In my view this book comes closes to the strength of power that exists in The Alchemist. There is so much in it to consider, develop and make personal that it requires re-reading. This writer is successful and popular - what he has achieved in my view, requires significantly more recognition not only for his talent as a writer, but for what his books do for people, for what they have done for me. Highly recommended to all at a time when the world is changing so fast that we constantly feel that a shadow is hanging over us - I guarantee that here is a chink of light.