Veronika Decides to Die
Veronika Decides to Die is a book about living.
Written by Brazilian bestselling author Paolo Coelho, the story begins when Veronika, a normal woman bored with her ordinary life who attempts suicide by swallowing sleeping pills. When she wakes up, she’s strapped to a bed in a mental hospital hovering between life and death.
Veronika survives her suicide attempt, but the doctors tell her the sleeping pills did irreparable damage and she has a week left to live. She is forced to stay at the mental institution so the doctors can monitor her health.
She soon improves and joins the rest of the odd people in the mental ward. The shock of such a dramatic change in environment jolts her out of her monotony and Veronika must learn the lesson of living.
The metamorphosis of Veronika’s emotions is scarily realistic and relatable. The book drew me, as a reader, into the bigger picture: as Veronika began questioning, it caused me to question too.
This book is deeply philosophical and it goes beyond the realms of fiction to make statements about real life. Coelho uses mental patients to pose the question: who and what makes a person normal? In the end, it’s up to the readers to interpret their own personal meaning.
I enjoyed the uniqueness of this book. I’m sure several other books are out there with similar plotlines, but the language and story development of Veronika Decides to Die makes this story one in a million.
That being said, this book explores all avenues of emotion, including sexual desire. Readers with conservative views may find some scenes shocking.
Overall, I think this book is well worth reading. Whether you want to explore philosophical concepts or you just want to read, this book is worth checking out.
I think give it: four stars
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