Paulo Coelho earned a significant place in my heart when I first read The Devil And Miss Prym while in South Korea. I manage to pick up Coelho's novels when I most need his insights. The Alchemist is no different.
At it's core, The Alchemist is about the value of following your heart at all costs. One sentence that is repeated throughout the book is "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to acheive it." What a fantastic idea! Santiago is our protaganist, a shepherd in Andalusia who takes the advice of various people he encounters who all encourage him to "follow the omens" leading to his dream. On the path of his Personal Legend, Santiago learns from everyone he meets--an important lesson for all of us living in this modern world. He encounters love, science, faith, danger, and all along he is reminded that it simply is what must be. Because as he is told time and time again, "it is written".
The theory is that when you heart wants something, it is because that thing is your Personal Legend. It is the thing you are meant to do, and all the universe will help you achieve it. Coelho is a deeply spiritual writer, who combines the mystical with ideas of God and Fate. I love that his writing is accessible to everyone, no matter their faith.
The Alchemist is another beautifully written volume from Coelho, and a valuable tome for anyone needing a nudge on the path of their own Personal Legend.