Veronika Decides to Die | Book Review | By Amber Addams
I have Bi-Polar. When I was manic, I quit my Bay Street job (on the spot. FYI Bay Street is the Canadian version of Wall Street) to backpack Thailand for a month (alone) with no planning or accommodations lined up. I didn’t even Google Thailand.
I boarded a plane the next day. After landing, I was immediately hustled for my money by a Travel Agency in Bangkok, which is common for tourists. I realized I still had a month to survive until my return ticket (and not enough cash to buy a new one).
I became deeply depressed and a recluse in my jail-like hostel. I ran to the 7/11 where they sell alcohol and Thai Valium. I was headed back to my hostel to take them both and numb out my life choices when I found an English bookstand.
I traded a business book for Veronika Decides to Die. I hit up a quiet patio in the busy city of Bangkok. The title resonated, and I already loved Paulo Coelho (Author of The Alchemist).
The book was fantastic. Veronika (the lead in the book) is 24, beautiful and has a loving family, but she’s still always depressed and decides to commit suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. Veronika finds out that her suicide attempt failed when she awakens from her coma and finds herself in a psychiatric ward. However, she’s then told that she will soon die from heart damage.
In her final days, she starts to examine her beliefs about life and love. Veronika rediscovers her will – and passion – to live again as she builds new bonds with the inmates at the psychiatric hospital.
Coelho highlights that the inspirational journey of self-discovery isn’t always an easy one. Veronika Must Die is a riveting and poetic must-read. It inspired me to take the reins and get back to living on my month-long journey in Thailand (and I did!!!). And now there’s even a movie adaptation starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.
To purchase a copy, just click on the book above or on the title right here -> Veronika Decides to Die: A Novel of Redemption