"The Book of the Shepherd a timeless story about one man who is seeking "the new way," is an inspiring and moving fable". -Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist
When a rare antiquarian book is discovered in the disheveled study of an old Vermont farmhouse, the house's new owner feels obligated to get the volume translated. It takes nearly a year, with help from experts at great universities who can discern the strange hybrid language in which the text is written. But when the translation is finished, the result is The Book of the Shepherd, a timeless story, full of life lessons for us all.
Set in a mythical time, in an unnamed land, The Book of the Shepherd opens with a small boy being mercilessly beaten by his father in the market. A shepherd who witnesses the beating knows it is done in accordance with the law of filial infractions. But the shepherd wonders if there is another way besides the harsh code of "an eye for an eye" that guides his world.
Called by a dream, the shepherd sets off on an uncertain journey to find "the new way." Accompanied by Elizabeth, a former slave who radiates a spirit of relentless goodness and "reckless generosity;" and David, the boy beaten in the market who must learn to walk in new shoes, the shepherd leads his new friends over hills and dale, through villages and towns, guided by an old map given to Elizabeth by her dying grandfather. The travelers press on, motivated by the prediction of Elizabeth's grandfather that "an age of miracles" will come when the new way is found.
But the journey is long and not without incident.
As Joshua, Elizabeth and David head toward a treacherous cave beneath the cliffs near the Great Inland Sea, they meet a cast of extraordinary characters, including The Story Teller, the Apothecary, the Blind Man and the Stranger. Each imparts an important story and lesson that pushes the travelers toward their encounter with destiny. Reaching the cave, where profound secrets have long been hidden, Joshua will be severely tested to see if he can "bring forth what is within him." But he, Elizabeth and David will also discover an important truth...sometimes the treasure we seek has been inside us all along.