HER ONLY CRIME WAS TO BE AN INDPENDENT WOMAN


When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within month she was the most celebrated woman in the city.

As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewithced 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-Élysées 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

HER ONLY CRIME WAS TO BE AN INDPENDENT WOMAN


When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within month she was the most celebrated woman in the city.

As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewithced 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-Élysées 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.

Editions

Rights sold in 41 languages: 

Arabic, Armenian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (complex), Chinese (simplified), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Frisian, Georgian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malayalam, Montenegrin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian & Vietnamese.

Reviews

It's intriguing and smart, the pages are flying away. Here are both fascinating descriptions of Paris from the time when the city was the capital of the world and plenty of the quintessential Coelho's wisdom of life.

- A-MAGASINET, NORWAY, NOVEMBER 2016

 

An inspiring reading that cleans up the image of a person who was able to confront the world to be herself.

- ELLE MAGAZINE, SPAIN, OCTOBER 2016

 

Although the novel is not Coelho's strongest work, the ending is brilliant in its irony, and throughout, he displays an ability to inhabit her voice. Through the letters, he illustrates the difficulties of being an independent woman in that time and place. By the end, readers will believe they've read Zelle's actual letters.

- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY USA, OCTOBER 2016

 

Once again, in The Spy, Paulo Coelho shows that he is the master of narration. He shows all  the reasons why he is one of the most widely read authors in the world and why he is present on the lists of popularity and readership rating.

 - JUTARNJI LIST, CROATIA, DECEMBER 2016

 

Gripping from the first scene.

- GALA, POLAND, NOVEMBER 2016

 

Coelho tells the extraordinary story with elegance and pietism to paint a portrait of the most famous spy among women as closely as possible. The heart touching story.

- LUBIMYCZYTAC.PL, POLAND, NOVEMBER 2016

 

This prose is mature, polished, somewhat simplified...

- WIELKIBUK.COM, POLAND, NOVEMBER 2016

 

The Spy is an extremely interesting read. If you have read and liked his other novels, there is no reasons to stop here.

- ELISE CATHRIN's blog, NORWAY, NOVEMBER 2016

 

“I have to say that Paulo has really struck upon something incredible, as the story of Mata Hari is extremely powerful, and although everyone has heard of her, no one knows much about her life. Moreover, Paulo has managed to make the story even more interesting with his own way of viewing the world, and his personal writing style. I am very pleased, because Paulo has successfully changed gears with a biographical novel, based on real events, all without losing his identity, that Coelho essence that shows us there is always something to learn, that the experience may not be positive, even devastating, but there is always something to be learned.

Mata Hari's character is well-developed, and it is exciting to see how once again Coelho has succeeded at stepping into a woman's shoes, this time framing the character with the ways and customs of that era, but without cluttering the narrative. I believe that what he's created, a biographical novel, is a very difficult genre, because sometimes scholarship gets in the way of the emotion of the story. In this case, the narrative never loses speed. The choice of the first person is just brilliant.”

 - ELENA RAMÍREZ, EDITORIAL PLANETA, SPAIN 

 

Coelho sheds a new light on a story of a life, but we are left with a feeling that nobody really gets under her skin. Mata Hari remains a mystery.

- KK, NORWAY, NOVEMBER 2016

Extracts

I don’t know if the future will remember me, but if it does, may it never see me as a victim, but as someone who moved forward with courage, fearlessly paying the price she had to pay.

Extract from The Spy

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