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Joanna Trollope OBE

Veronika Decides to Die

by Paulo Coelho

Veronika Decides to Die

"I've written a book about a mental institution,' I said to my 85-year-old father. 'It's a fictional work, but there are a couple of pages where I speak as myself. It means going public about the time I spent in mental hospitals.'

My father looked me in the eye and said:

'Are you sure it won't harm you in any way?'

'Yes, I'm sure.'

'Then go ahead. I'm tired of secrets.'"

-Paulo Coelho

Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything—youth and beauty, boyfriends and a loving family, a fulfilling job. But something is missing in her life. So, one cold November morning, she takes a handful of sleeping pills expecting to never wake up. But she does—at a mental hospital where she is told she has only days to live.

Inspired by events in Coelho's own life, Veronika Decides to Die questions the meaning of madness and celebrates individuals who do not fit into patterns society considers to be normal. Bold and illuminating, it is a dazzling portrait of a young woman at the crossroads of despair and liberation, and a poetic, exuberant appreciation of each day as a renewed opportunity.

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