In Ancient India, a young son of a Brahmin leaves home in the hopes of attaining enlightenment by becoming a wandering ascetic. He seeks out the famous Buddha but upon meeting and learning from him he decides that in order for him to continue on his quest he must do it alone, rather than following the Buddha.
But soon after he meets the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and she leads him into a life of material, riches, and passion. He soon realizes that his lifestyle has left him empty and void of spiritual fulfillment. And so he leaves, thinking of ending his life but instead comes to a river that leads him into the spiritual experience of the holy word Om. From there his life is about peace and the wisdom he has gained with it.
Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, is the story of a spiritual journey during the time of Buddha. The young man, Siddhartha, spends his life looking for enlightenment through traditional means but instead comes to learn that it comes through a complete understanding and experience of the events of one's life.
No matter what your religious beliefs, you will find lessons in this book. When something is missing in your life, it requires a personal journey of soul-searching and faith to find what you are looking for. The book is a product of Hesse's own journey to self-discovery and search for enlightenment. Though written in a very simple language, this short novel packs quite the punch. It is not a simple read and requires a great deal of attention.
This book is included in my Classics Club list of 50 classic books to read in 5 years.