# Novel《BRAN NEW + 》Paulo Coelho - THE SPY : A NOVEL OF MATA HARI
In his new novel, Paulo Coelho, bestselling author of The Alchemist and Adultery, brings to life one of history's most enigmatic women: Mata Hari. HER ONLY CRIME WAS TO BE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within months she was the most celebrated woman in the city. As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men. But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees, and accused of espionage. Told in Mata Hari’s voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price. The Spy has brilliant starting point with the first chapter starting on Mata Hari's execution by firing squad. I was nearly impossible to put it down after; it set just the right tone for the rest of tale. When Mata Hari - born Margaretha Zelle - arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within months she was the most celebrated woman in the city. As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men. But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees, and accused of espionage. Told in Mata Hari’s voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price. Also, these next quotes are all I've thinking about since reaching the last page: “Flowers teach us that nothing is permanent: not their beauty, not even the fact that they will inevitably wilt, because they will still give new seeds. Remember this when you feel joy, pain, or sadness. Everything passes, grows old, dies, and is reborn.” “But women are able to understand one another without exchanging a word.” “When we don’t know where life is taking us, we are never lost.” The writing truly will make you feel Mata Hari's passions, enthusiasm, loneliness, shame, pride, betrayal, and sadness. A short but impactful read, the narrative structure of The Spy shifts among the perspectives of Mata Hari, her attorney, and factual source documents. To put it simply, this was an educating, insightful and unputdownable read that puts everything in perspective ------------------------------------------------------------------- Review From Times Of India : Paulo Coelho pens a gripping and part fictional tale on the life of a legendary dancer cum falsely accused spy named Mata Hari in his new novel, The Spy. He spins a riveting autobiographical account on the dancer's life through a fictional letter penned by the dancer herself addressing to her lawyer. An epitome of individuality, extravagant lifestyle, exquisite taste in fashion, independence and erotic dance moves in the early 20th century in Paris, she is one character which will grip you from the very beginning. Margaretha Zelle is a Dutch girl born into a middle-class family in Holland. After her parents' divorce she moves in with her uncle to get teacher's training. One fine day, she replies to a matrimonial ad in the newspaper of an army man looking for a wife and within three months of meeting the man, she gets married to him and moves to Indonesia. Her life turns tragic as she becomes a victim to sexual and physical abuse by her husband. But her painful ordeal with marital life soon comes to an end, when the suicide of another army's wife irks her up and fills her up with confidence to leave her husband. She makes her way to Paris, where a wealthy man spots her talent of dancing. He gives her the right opportunity to showcase her talent during the opening of his museum. And within few months of success, she becomes a household name in Paris. Her beauty and grace stole the hearts of many wealthy men, the provider to her extravagant lifestyle. Gradually, she gets caught up in the crossfire of the war, as she chooses to work as a double agent and within few months. She also gets arrested and finally executed in Paris, the city where she became Mata Hari. Though the character development is not great, yet Mata Hari's life leaves a heartening impact on the reader. Her life is painful and sad even though she drowned herself in an exorbitant means of life - always found in the arms of her wealthy married lovers. But towards the end, her indifference to the war becomes her enemy. Mata Hari was a daughter, lover, wife and a hopeless mother who could not save her children from the wrath of her husband's enemies. An enlightening yet an impassive biography! About the Author PAULO COELHO’s life remains the primary source of inspiration for his books. He has flirted with death, escaped madness, dallied with drugs, withstood torture, experimented with magic and alchemy, studied philosophy and religion, read voraciously, lost and recovered his faith, and experienced the pain and pleasure of love. In searching for his own place in the world, he has discovered answers for the challenges that everyone faces. He believes that, within ourselves, we have the necessary strength to find our own destiny. His most recent novel Adultery was a worldwide bestseller. His 1988 novel The Alchemist has sold more than 65 million copies and has been cited as an inspiration by people as diverse as Malala Yousafzai and Pharrell Williams. Paulo Coelho has sold more than 200 million books worldwide. His work is published in 81 languages, and he is the most translated living author in the world.
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