Like so many of us, Veronika lives a mediocre, meaningless life, a life with no meaning, no purpose. That is why she decides to die. Ironically she comes to this decision after meeting Paulo Coelho.
Veronika decides to die. She takes sleeping tablets one by one, slips into unconsciousness, then wakes in Villete, a much feared mental asylum in Slovenia, to be told her heart has suffered irreparable damage and she will die in five days time.
In Villete, she learns what it is to be mad, and how madness can liberate one to be oneself.
Veronika Decides to Die is a tale of despair, but also of hope. It is also a tale of Impossible Love.
We are all in our own personal prison of conformity. If we allowed ourselves to be a little bit mad, we could be ourselves, follow our destiny, follow the example of Santiago in The Alchemist.
Veronika Decides to Die is the second novel in the And on the Seventh Day trilogy. The other two being By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept and The Devil and Miss Prym.
Veronika has seven days in which to live after a unsuccessful suicide attempt. Pilar has seven days in which to save her soul. Miss Prym is engaged in a fight with the Devil, an epic struggle between Good and Evil, seven days in which to save the village of Viscos.
Many of his works are semi-autobiographical, what Paulo Coelho calls 'fictionalised experiences'. When his family learnt he wished to be a writer, they had him committed to a mental institution where he was subjected to electro-convulsive therapy.
The middle class family into which Paulo Coelho was born were so horrified at his desire to be a writer that they had him committed to a psychiatric hospital, where he was subjected to electro-convulsive therapy to rid him of his delusions. Thirty years later he was to describe his experience in Veronika Decides to Die. His experience was to lead to a law in Brazil prohibiting arbitrary hospital detention.
Also worth reading
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5838926]
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5584996]
The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5763368]
The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5528715]
My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk [see BCID 5849546]