Do you think that books find us when we most need to read them? It certainly felt that way whilst I was reading The Alchemist.
I was a bit let down by the ending, because it wasn't the 'happily ever after' ending that I wanted. It was a bit unexpected, but it was still the right ending, I think.
This is a coming of age story. It is a story about wisdom. It is a story about nature, love and humanity.
In the prologue, the alchemist reads a version of the story of the death of Narcissus, where the lake mourns his death because she can no longer see herself in the reflection of his eyes. What a brilliant beginning! Is there an element of narcissism in pursuing our own dreams and goals?
The Alchemist suggests that those who truly love you will support you in search of your dreams and goals, regardless of the guilt that you might feel for being selfish. Is it even selfish, if ultimately you and everyone around you are happier? Or is this one case where the end justifies the means: if you are successfully in pursuing your dreams then everyone is happy, but if your dreams waste away your life and savings it is resented.
This simple little story is a lesson in the intimacy between the spiritual and material worlds, evolution and love.