Pilar is confronted with facing herself - either she embraces her love or she walks away from it in the form of her childhood friend, who has misgivings about entering the seminary, due to his enduring love for her. She encounters the feminine face and force of God, which desires her to open up to love. Likewise, her seminarian is facing the battle of choosing between love and God. Both characters encounter challenges of the heart and find that they can have the best of both worlds - of love and of God. This is NOT a pushy or preachy religious book, but a book, which imparts the feminine and masculine aspects of God in our lives amidst the deep love of a man and a woman have for each other. "The previous day, the world had made sense, even without love's presence. But now we needed each other in order to see the true brilliance of things (88)."
"But love is always new. Regardless of whether we love once, twice, or a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand-new situation. Love can consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always takes us somewhere. We simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack the courage to stretch out a hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life. We have to take love where we find it, even it that means hours, days, weeks of disappointment and sadness. The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us. And to save us. (79)"
Coelho, the eternal optimist, shows us once again the power of love and of God's love