Book: The Alchemist

By: Paul Coelho

Reviewed By: Tammy Benwell

What the book is about:

The Alchemist is a book about following your dreams, and the struggles that one often faces when attempting to do so.

While sleeping under a sycamore tree Santiago has a recurring dream where a young child tells him that a treasure awaits him at the Pyramids in Egypt. After consulting an elderly gypsy woman, who confirms his dream, Santiago sets out on his journey to Egypt. Along the way he encounters people and circumstances that cause him to doubt his dream, but he also meets people like the Alchemist, who continue to inspire him and renew his faith in the journey.

Why I think you should read it:

I love this book because it touches on one of my core beliefs about the nature of life. I believe in following your dreams, no matter how big or small they might seem. I think that we allow fear and feelings of unworthiness to dictate a lot of our choices in life, therefore limiting our growth. Bad things will happen to us all at some point, and sometimes the bad things can feel quite frequent and overwhelming. Santiago certainly faced his fair share of challenges. But if we can continue to push forward, I whole-heartedly believe that good things can happen. I have witnessed it firsthand, working with mental health patients, their families and my clients at Bliss.

Favourite quotes:

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

“People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.”

“People are capable at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

“The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself… no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”