Matahari -An Exotic Dancer Or A Spy

The Spy – Paulo Coelho

Mata Hari – Who was she? A Courtesan, Exotic Dancer, Spy or a free spirit, whose iron nerves didn’t melt even at the face of death?

Mata Hari - The Spy
Mata Hari – The Spy

Margaretha Zelle or popularly known as Mata Hari, was an exotic dancer and a courtesan who once rocked the stages of French theaters and was a most featured celebrity face of popular magazines and news of her times. She was convicted of being a double agent and spying for Germany during WW1 and lastly was executed by the firing squad of France.Born in Netherlands, sexually harassed in her school, she entered into a desperate marriage which proved to be a disaster. But several years of torturous marriage and loss of infant son couldn’t wither away her dreams and her spirit.

Born in Netherlands, sexually harassed in her school, she entered into a desperate marriage which proved to be a disaster. But several years of torturous marriage and loss of infant son couldn’t wither away her dreams and her spirit.

Escaped from the torture of her marriage she managed to reach Paris with the help of one of her lover. She used sexuality as her ticket to enter the world of glamor and took the entire Europe by storm and soon she became the most famed exotic dancer of her times

 During her peak years, her seductive & erotic ways lured number of highly placed aristocrat lovers obliged to blow any amount of money just for the pleasure of her company. Little did she know that none would be of any help in hour of real need?

After the fateful trial when she was to be executed by the firing squad she refused to be blindfolded before being shot. She dared to gaze straight into the eyes of her own death. Even the imminent brutal death could not lower her spirit.Mata Hari has drawn a lot of attention from Hollywood film makers, media and writers,  yet there remains so many unanswered questions.

Although there are several pits and holes in the book yet the author has genuinely tried to keep it as close to historical facts as possible without adding much of fictional juice.

Part 1 of the books provides the Mata Hari’s perspective where she describes how she became the victim of circumstances and her ambitions. Part 2 of the book gives the lookout of Mata Hari’s Lawyer, who although believed in her, explains how her own careless statements and public image lead to an unwarranted catastrophe. Witnesses, circumstantial evidences and even her own statements proved lethally against her case. It is for the reader to choose and decide what to believe and form their opinions.

In all, the book is short and crisp and contains few pictures of Mata Hari as well. I loved the cover page of the book. Pace of the book is really good. I like this book for its crispness, authenticity and simple writing. My rating for the book goes 3.5 stars on a scale of five.

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