Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod aka Matahari, a dutch artist who was convicted for being a spy for Germans and executed to death by the French firing squad. This book, The Spy by Paulo Coelho is more a life story in Matahari’s words through her letter to her lawyer. I bring you some of the book quotes that had me thinking. I re-read them, wondering who Matahari really was.
Matahari – Who is she?
The Germans and the French were at war. Many immigrants and people turned into spies in this era either to earn the money or to remain alive. Matahari is one such famous artist, who was approached to be a spy. Matahari is known as the ‘Greatest Woman spy of the century’. Her life has been dissected and analyzed since she was shot dead. The self taught exotic dancer, was open about her sexual encounters with many a high profile officers and people. I guess one of the reasons that made her influential and famous too.
The recent release of her artifacts and letters by a dutch publisher, to commemorate her 2017 death anniversary revived the talk around Matahari. These letters have shed new light on Matahari, her passion as a dancer and a woman who rebuilt her life from the ashes. It also showed her motherly side, that for ages have not been talked about. It is always about the exotic dance and the prostitution part.
The Spy by Paulo Coelho, is the glimpse at the story of this strong woman. A story that she narrates to you through her letters. She muses at her current state and reminisces of the various incidents in her life that led her to here. It will surprise you to know that she worked as a double agent for French too and had all her loyalties with them. Yet, it was the French who killed her in the end. Irony of life isn’t it?
Book Quotes from The Spy by Paulo Coelho
Reading the book, I am in awe with Matahari. Her confidence, passion for dance and the clarity on how she wanted to live and who she wanted to me, stuns me even now. In that era, with that confidence and her need to be free is commendable. An age where most women were oppressed and did not think much about anything else. Here is Matahari, living exactly as she aspired.
What struck me the most, is her words and how she looked at life. Maybe even you and me could learn a thing or two from the life of Matahari, the woman and not the spy. Her words resonated with me even more, for I relate to her need for freedom and the desire to be who she wants to. Here are the words that resonate with me even now,