Veronica Decides to Die

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VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE
A NOVEL OF REDEMPTION

PAULO COELHO
TRANSLATED FROM THE PORTUGUESE BY MARGARET JULL COSTA

For S. T. de L., who began to help me without my realizing it

Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents…and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19

Contents

Epigraph Begin Reading P.S. Insights, Interviews & More… About the Author Praise Other Books by Paulo Coelho Credits Copyright About the Publisher

On November 11, 1997, Veronika decided that the moment to kill herself had—at last!—arrived. She carefully cleaned the room that she rented in a convent, turned off the heat, brushed her teeth, and lay down.

SHE PICKED up the four packs of sleeping pills from her bedside table. Instead of crushing them and mixing them with water, she decided to take them one by one, because there is always a gap between intention and action, and she wanted to feel free to turn back halfway. With each pill she swallowed, however, she felt more convinced: After five minutes the packs were empty. Since she didn’t know exactly how long it would take her to lose consciousness, she had placed on the bed that month’s issue of a French magazine, Homme, which had just arrived in the library where she worked. She had no particular interest in computer science, but, as she leafed through the magazine, she came across an article about a computer game (one of those CD-ROMS) created by Paulo Coelho, a Brazilian writer she had happened to meet at a lecture in the café at the Grand Union Hotel. They had exchanged a few words, and she had ended up being invited by his publisher to join them for supper. There were a lot of people there, though, and they hadn’t had a chance to talk in depth about anything. The fact that she had met the author led her to think that he was part of her world, and that reading an article about his work could help pass…...

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