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Maya's Notebook
by Isabel Allende and Anne McLean

Overview -

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.  Read more...


 
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More About Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende; Anne McLean
 
 
 
Overview

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.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062105622
  • ISBN-10: 0062105620
  • Publisher: HarperTorch
  • Publish Date: April 2013
  • Page Count: 387


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Suspense
Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-02-04
  • Reviewer: Staff

Allende (The House of the Spirits) moves away from her usual magical realist historical fiction into a contemporary setting, and the result is a chaotic hodgepodge. The story, told through 19-year-old Maya Vidal’s journals, alternates between Maya’s dismal past and uncertain present, which finds her in hiding on an isolated island off Chile’s coast, where her grandmother, Nidia, has taken her. Maya’s diary relates a journey into self-destruction that begins, after her beloved step-grandfather Popi’s death, with dangerous forays into sex, drugs, and delinquency, but ends up in a darkly cartoonish crime caper, as she becomes involved with gangsters in Las Vegas. Maya describes her present surroundings, meanwhile, with a bland detachment that would be more believable coming from an anthropologist than a teenager. Allende’s trademark passion for Chile is as strong as ever, and her clever writing lends buoyancy to the narrative’s deadweight, but this novel is unlikely to entrance fans old or new. Agent: Carmen Balcells, Carmen Balcells Agency. (May)

 
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