By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept centers around a young couple who are reunited eleven years after their adolescent love.
Over time, Pilar has grown into a strong and independent woman. Her childhood friend (who remains nameless in the book) has grown into a handsome and charismatic spiritual leader who turned to religion to escape his inner conflicts. Reunited at last after a decade, they embark on a difficult journey as long-standing issues with blame and resentment resurface. As they head to the River Piedra in the French Pyrenees, they explore the future of their relationship and some of life’s biggest questions. Considered a spiritual parable and exploring themes of love, spirituality, and life’s hardships,
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and was acclaimed and successful upon its translation and release in the English-speaking world. It is considered one of Coelho’s best works and is widely studied as an example of classic modern Brazilian literature.