Title: Veronica Decides To Die
Author: Paulo Coelho
Publishers: Harper Collins
Released Date: 2000 (new edition)
Veronica is a Slovenian young girl with a perfect life. Somehow, culture and social pressure stops her from being herself to find her soul and freedom. She tries to commit suicide in her apartment. Before the drugs she has taken works, she reads a French magazine where there’s a reader question, asking where Slovenia is. She intends to write back to the magazine correspondent, then she collapse.
In Vilette, Veronica finds herself after and is told that she has only one week left to live. Vilette is an asylum. She is considered with mental problems since other people think her suicide trial is not normal, as most people want to live instead of to die. In that asylum, she meets many people who are actually not crazy, only suffering from panic attack, mental depression and not far from normal. Considered as insane, Veronica can find the freedom of being herself, without being criticized by social and culture attached to her since she was young.
The head of psychiatry in Vilette ‘shocks’ Veronica with her rest-one-week life. She encounters the half-life with all the psychiatric treatment she got there. Through the life in the asylum, and her new-found love to an adorable schizophrenic young man, Veronica is able to see the value of her life.
My review: It’s a very great awakening for us to see the real normality in this world. Written very well and touching. Your eyes will be opened to value your life and show you what it takes and what it should to be yourself.
The characters are amazingly described. They represent our characters in the real world. Where we are all imperfect, and sometimes, confined with social watch and cultural hypocrisy.
Many history and political inputs, as well as philosophy that enrich your reading mind. Truly a genius psychological story that breaks through any cultural barriers!