Veronika Decides to Die

Veronika Decides to Die
Paulo Coehlo

Several people, over the years, have recommended this book. Having now completed a reading of this book, I understand the recommendations. It was quite interesting. A unique exploration of sanity, insanity, and the intersections therein.

Told from the perspectives of various patients and a doctor, the novel explores life in a Slovenian mental hospital, particularly in regard to the influence spread by the presence of the title character, Veronika.

It was an interesting look at the inner workings of a mental institute and mental illness in general. Appropriately uncomfortable at times, Coelho’s story encourages the reader to confront the kind of discomfort that people tend to shy away from in real life. This one will make you think.

Not my usual fare (I tend to gravitate toward fantasy, science fiction, and the like), I found myself, nonetheless, intrigued by the plot and characters. And, while this is not likely to be a book whose company I seek again, I am glad to have experienced its’ journey.

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