Book Review: Mata Hari (2016)

Title: The Spy
Author: Paulo Coelho
Translator: Lulu Wijaya
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
2016/192 pages

Bunga mengajarkan kepada kita bahwa tidak ada yang abadi: keindahan mereka, bahkan juga fakta bahwa mereka pasti akan layu, karena mereka masih akan memberikan benih baru. Ingatlah ini kalau kau merasa sukacita, kepedihan, atau kesedihan. Segala sesuatu berlalu, menjadi tua, mati dan terlahir kembali.

Mata Hari, --Paulo Coelho

Margaretha Geertruida Zelle was a middle class Dutch Family. Feeling bored with her mundane life, she planned to escape from it.  The opportunity came when she decided to marry a soldier and moved to Indonesia. They once lived in Malang. No wonder that the author, Paulo Coelho expressed his greeting in the first page of the book to all Indonesian readers, where parts of this story took place.

However life didn't turn out as expected. Margaretha's husband was an alcoholic-abusive man. Indonesia that sounded  quite exotic in the beginning began to lose its charm and Margaretha thought to start her new life as a new person. Margaretha went to Paris, penniless, but tried to struggle until she came out with a new identity as Mata Hari, a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances. She shocked and delighted audiences during the World War I.

She soon began touring all over Europe and became a famous performer and with the outbreak of World War I, her catalog of lovers began to include high-ranking military officers of various nationalities.

It was 15 October 1917, taken from her hotel room at Champs Elysees, Mata Hari was charged guilty and executed by a French firing squad because of her crime as espionage. Up until now no one really knows about Mata Hari's espionage activities. Some said that Mata Hari acted as a German spy, and others exclaimed that she's  a double agent for the French as well. Lots of different version stories told and Mata Hari remains as one of history's most enigmatic women. 

Not Coelho at his best but it is still fascinating. Telling a history by combining it with certain fictitious elements. Good points. If you're looking for a light-fast read book, this one is just perfect. 

Cinta adalah perbuatan yang berlandaskan iman dan wajahnya harus selalu diselubungi misteri. Setiap momen harus dijalani dengan perasaan dan emosi, karena kalau kita mencoba menganalisis dan memahaminya, sirnalah keajaibannya.