My Thoughts About The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho (Book Review #86)

Inspired by the story from the bible, the book follows the story of Elijah, a prophet who fled after deflecting orders from his hometown, Israel. Princess Jezebel, who just married King Ahab of Israel, ordered the death of all the prophets refusing to worship the pagan God Baal.

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“There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them.
But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Fifth Mountain

Just when he was about to surrender and give up his life, he was saved and asked by God to spread His word. He finds himself in the city of Akbar in the house of a widow and her son where God lead him. Thus begins the story of a prophet who is destined to become a messenger and lead people to the right path. We follow as he struggles to make ends meet, face pain and endure suffering. Along the way he meets people full of doubts about what he believes in that made him want to go further and continue his calling. With a war looming in the horizon and a tyranny to strong to contend, can Elijah continue his purpose? When all that he believes in is destroyed, how will he be able to stand and continue fighting for God’s words? Does he stand a chance to the horde of enemies refuting his claims and doubting his presence? How can a fugitive make the people who doubts him be believers?

After Veronica Decides to Die (which I have yet to review) and The Alchemist, this is the third book that I read from the author. Like all the other Coelho books that I read, the message of the book is strong. The fictional world the author became a successful backdrop to the author’s story. The writing is magical as it will draw you in to the story. It’s like reading a story of someone you know.

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“If you have a past with which you feel dissatisfied, then forget it, now. Imagine a new story for your life and believe in it. Focus only on the moments when you achieved what you desired, and that strength will help you to get what you want.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Fifth Mountain

The book talks about the hope that is within ourselves and to not give up on our dreams. To never accept defeat. That everything that happens is for good. The power of believing in what we can do and the tenacity of the human spirit is imminent in this book. In the story’s major turning point, Elijah made a promise amidst despair and loneliness. The book talks about how the magic was formed by that promise and dream, how everything returned from ashes to structures, from doubts to belief, from hopelessness to hope and faith and seeing rainbows after storms.

The book itself is like following Elijah’s journey of faith. How he denounced and questioned everyting about God and His ways after all the trials that he faced to his eventual trust with Him again. God allowed him to make decisions, solely rely on himself and believe in what he believes is right because God believes that at the end of the day, despite losing your faith in the process, if what you believe is rooted on truth and love, you’ll eventually return to Him. And that’s what happened to him.

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“From heaven, God smiles contentedly, for us was this that He desired, that each person take into his hands the responsibility for his own life. For, in the final analysis, He had given His children the greatest of all gifts: the capacity to choose and determine their acts.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Fifth Mountain

Motivating and very insightful with a simplistic and at times poetic way of writing, I recommend this book to everyone, regardless of your beliefs or religious affiliation. The book goes deep down than that. The book has this right amount of plot for a short book but I could’ve appreciated if a little more twist were added.

The book has this make-you-feel-better feeling that rekindles spirit after reading it. Be sure to carry a highlighter when you read this book. There are a lot of uplifting lines in this book that I find helpful when I am down and confused. If you are reading this as your first Coelho book, some parts may be a little too preachy to read because of wisdom that the author is sharing.

Overall, this is a good tiny book worth keeping.

Four stars out of 5.

BOOK SPECIFICATIONS:

Author: Paulo Coelho
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: Bought
Part of a Series: Standalone
Release Year: April 2000
Publisher: Harper Perennial
No. of Pages: 256 pages

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