Maya's Notebook: A Novel

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HarperCollins, Apr 23, 2013 - Fiction - 387 pages
57 Reviews

Neglected by her parents, nineteen-year-old Maya Nidal has grown up in a rambling old house in Berkeley with her grandparents. Her grandmother Nidia, affectionately known as Nini, is a force of nature—willful and outspoken, unconventionally wise with a mystical streak, and fiercely protective—a woman whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973. Popo, Maya's grandfather, is an African American astronomer and professor—a gentle man whose solid, comforting presence helps calm the turbulence of Maya's adolescence.

When Popo dies of cancer, Maya goes completely off the rails. With her girlfriends—a tight circle known as the Vampires—she turns to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime, a downward spiral that eventually bottoms out in Las Vegas. Lost in a dangerous underworld, she is caught in the crosshairs of warring forces—a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol. Her one chance for survival is Nini, who helps her escape to a remote island off the coast of Chile. Here Maya tries to make sense of the past, unravels mysterious truths about life and about her family, and embarks on her greatest adventure: the journey into her own soul.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mojo09226 - LibraryThing

I couldn't finish this one. I was very sad about it too because I love Isabel Allende...her novels were some of the first "grown up" books I started to read (I know, a bit much for a teenager). I just couldn't get into this book. Maya didn't draw me in, I just didn't care. Read full review

Review: Maya's Notebook

User Review  - Anita - Goodreads

This story of a teenage girl who slips into alcoholism and drug dependency after the death of her beloved grandfather starts off well. It is written in the first person. As we get to know Maya, we ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Isabel Allende is the author of twelve works of fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, and a novel that has become a world-renowned classic, The House of the Spirits. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.

Anne McLean has won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize twice, as well as the Premio Valle Incla n. She has translated the works of Javier Cercas, Julio Cortazar, Carmen Martin Gaite, Ignacio Padilla, and Evelio Rosero.

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