Paulo Coelho’s “The Spy” takes me to 1060 pages

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I received this book as a gift about a year ago- and although it is a relatively short read, I managed to put it off for quite some time..  But after the last two books that I read, which were both very heavy material, I needed something a little different.  And this story kept me intrigued.  It is the story (historical fiction) of Mata Hari, who was a famous dancer in Paris in the early 1900s, until she was arrested for espionage and executed.

I thought the book was well-written and interesting.  And I appreciate that it was told from the standpoint of assuming her innocence.  Coelho was definitely sympathetic to Mata Hari, and treated her story with respect and care.  But, I have to admit- and I think it may have something to do with the #MeToo movement- but I feel like I am growing so weary of hearing stories about women, just living their lives- in this case in a free and confident, rather sensual manner–  and being punished for it.  Accused of espionage, with very little evidence (none really), thrown in jail, and brought in front of a firing squad… this seems an easy – yet quite extreme – way to get rid of a woman who carried the secrets of some very powerful men.

I am glad that I read “The Spy,” but I am tired of the same old same old.  I really hope our world is headed for the kind of cultural change that would make stories like this obsolete.  (I am not naive, but I still have hope).

2 comments on “Paulo Coelho’s “The Spy” takes me to 1060 pages”

  1. What an interesting book to give as a gift. I know 100% more now than I did before about Mata Hari because what I thought I knew was incorrect.

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  2. Amen, meredith– the very transparent hatred of women feels more oppressive these days than ever it seems. Sigh.

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