My star rating is exactly how I felt about this book: It was OK. At less than 300 pages, I should have been able to finish this in a single sitting without a problem, but instead it took me days. I just kept setting it down and finding other things to do... And for me, that is really unusual.
I did finish this book, but there was no revelation or twist that impressed me as it should have for a book that has such high recommendations.
I didn't really relate to any of the characters, and didn't really care what happened to them. For all the mentions of how virtuous the people in the village were, they seemed so selfish and mean to me.
One example: Chantal (Miss Prym) addresses everyone in the hotel/bar, as she was asked to do by the stranger, and the hotel/bar owner thought that she should fire the girl if her reason for addressing the crowd wasn't good enough. Really?
The writing was very simple, almost insultingly so, even though it felt that every line was supposed to be imparted by some "Universal Truth". At the end, I felt like Coelho had just palm-slapped my forehead and said "Duh!".
*sigh* I wanted to like this book better.