A novel from internationally acclaimed author Paulo Coelho – a dramatic story of love, life and death that shows us all why every second of our existence is a choice we all make between living and dying.
Veronika has everything she could wish for. She is young and pretty, has plenty of boyfriends, a steady job, a loving family. Yet she is not happy; something is lacking in her life, and one morning she decides to die. She takes an overdose of sleeping pills, only to wake up some time later in the local hospital. There she is told that her heart is damaged and she has only a few days to live.
The story follows Veronika through these intense days as to her surprise she finds herself experiencing feelings she has never really felt before. Against all odds she finds herself falling in love and even wanting to live again…
‘Coelho’s writing is beautifully poetic but his message is what counts… he gives me hope and puts a smile on my face’
‘His books have had a life-enhancing impact on millions of people’
‘One of the few to deserve the term “Publishing Phenomenon”’
THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
About the author
Paulo Coelho is the author of The Alchemist, he was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Being the author of 30 books that have sold over 320 million copies in 170 countries, he has become one of the most widely read authors in the world today. Paulo Coelho has been a United Nations Messenger of Peace since 2007 and this has allowed him to continue to promote intercultural dialogue and to focus on the needs of children. He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and the recipient of over 115 awards and honours, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Grinzane Cavour Book Award and the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur, to name a few.
Other titles include: The Pilgrimage, Brida, The Valkyries, The Fifth Mountain, Manual of the Warrior of Light, Veronika Decides to Die, The Devil and Miss Prym, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, Like the Flowing River, The Witch of Portobello, The Winner Stands Alone, Aleph.
The bestselling Brazilian author of The Alchemist delicately etches this morose but ultimately uplifting story of the suicidal Veronika, who creeps along the boundary between life and death, sanity and madness, happiness and despair. Veronika, 24, works in a library in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and rents a room in a convent; she is an attractive woman with friends and family, but feelings of powerlessness and apathy tempt her to find "freedom" in an overdose of sleeping pills. When Veronika awakens in the purgatory of Villete, the country's famous lunatic asylum, she is told her suicide attempt weakened her heart and she has only days to live. At this point, Coelho takes a role in the novel; he describes the circumstances under which he discovered Veronika's story and then recounts his own youthful incarceration in a Brazilian sanatorium, consigned there by parents who couldn't understand his "unusual behavior." As quickly as he drops in, however, he drops out again, relying on interior monologues to set scenes. In a sedative-induced haze, Veronika finds companionship in white-haired Mari, who suffers from panic attacks, and Eduard, an ambassador's son who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, and she begins to question the definition of insanity. It is her supposed death sentence from the devious Dr. Igor, who is trying to shock her back into reality, that allows Veronika to reacquire the will to live and love. Employing his trademark blend of religious and philosophical overtones, Coelho focuses on his central question: why do people go on when life seems unfair and fate indifferent? The simple, often banal prose contrasts Veronika's bleak inner landscape with the beautiful contours of Slovenia, gradually culminating in an upbeat ending with the message that each day of life is a miracle. Coelho's latest will appeal to readers who enjoy animated homilies about the worth of human existence.