The title character of this book, Veronika, tries to commit suicide through an overdose of pills. The suicide attempt fails, but the pills have caused irreparable damage to her heart and she only has 1 week to live. This knowledge of her imminent death gives Veronika new insight and a different perspective on life. My copy of the book included some interesting information on Paulo Coelho's life. As a young man, he spent several weeks in a mental hospital. He uses this information to frame many of the events of the book and provide a very different viewpoint of how we view and treat the 'insane'. Although the premise of this book was interesting, I am not a huge fan of Coelho. Rather than subtly stating a theme in his books, he tends to shout it out repeatedly. For this novel, the central theme seemed to revolve around how strict rules in our society force people to behave abnormally, but once a person is labeled 'insane', they have the freedom to behave and live as they want.