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When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless.
Soon she was feted as the most elegant woman in the city.
A dancer who shocked and delighted audiences; a confidant and courtesan who 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. Until, in 1917 she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees and accused of espionage.
Written as a series of letters, THE SPY tells the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to break the conventions of her time, and paid the price.
On the occasion of the centenary of Mata Hari's execution for espionage in 1917, Paulo Coelho reconsiders her life and character in a fictional memoir. In a series of letters, written from prison on the eve of her death, Mata Hari reflects on the choices she has made to always pursue her own truth--from her childhood in a small Dutch town, to unhappy years as the wife of an alcoholic diplomat in Java, to her calculated and self-fashioned rise to celebrity in Paris and across Europe as an exotic dancer and confidante to the most powerful men of the time. Though there was little evidence to incriminate her, Mata Hari was unable to escape persecution and prosecution by French military intelligence, and at the novel's end, Coelho re-creates a final letter, written by Mata Hari's lawer, Edouard Clunet, that offers a captivating view of Europe at war and the fatal price of suspicion.
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