Book Review: Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende

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Maya’s Note­book by Isabel Allende is a fic­tional novel and a com­ing of age story. Ms. Allende is an award win­ning, inter­na­tion­ally famous, Chilean writer.

The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book -to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post.

  • 400 pages
  • Pub­lisher: Harper
  • Lan­guage: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062105620

Book Review Mayas Notebook by Isabel Allende

My rat­ing for Maya's Note­book — 4

Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format*

More Books by Isabel Allende

There were sev­eral rea­sons I chose to read Maya’s Note­book by Isabel Allende (web­site | Face­book), one was, of course, the author but the other was the set­ting. I have men­tioned it sev­eral times that I enjoy read­ing books which are set at places I've been to. Luck­ily for me I've been at many places and the island of Chiloé, off the coast of Chile is one of them.

When I went to Chiloé it was just for a day trip, I remem­ber how beau­ti­ful, serene and relax­ing it was. The peo­ple were great, the scenery was fan­tas­tic, won­der­ful food and deli­cious home­made apple cider. Of course when I read that the book takes place on the island I imme­di­ately requested a copy.

The book starts out slowly but grows on you, at first I thought I made a mis­take. The book is in the form of a diary, a com­ing of age story of delin­quent girl from a dys­func­tional fam­ily who com­plains and jus­ti­fies her choices (or lack thereof). The nar­ra­tive goes from past to present in a way which was, at first, dif­fi­cult to fol­low. How­ever, about half way through the book the story comes out and the loose ends start to make sense all the way to a pow­er­ful ending.

While the book has its ups and downs, Allende is a world class author and it shows through­out. The novel is dri­ven solely on the force of the Maya Vidal’s, protagonist’s char­ac­ter and Allende pulls it off with­out a hitch. Through the nar­ra­tive the reader also learns about a sim­pler and mean­ing­ful lifestyle on an island which is con­sid­ered a trea­sure by many people.

I thought that the part of the book which takes place in Las Vegas is a bit over the top. I don’t think one needs to go to such bizarre expe­ri­ences to suf­fer the trau­matic break­down Maya has suf­fered, it takes much less than what the author describes which seems, to me at least like a made-for-TV spe­cial. I don’t want to give away much of the book, since Maya is wanted by the FBI and the crim­i­nal ele­ment for some­thing she knows, it would have been more believ­able to me if she wasn’t involved in petty crimes.

Even though the book was a slow start, I did enjoy the mid­dle and end­ing. The novel pro­vides a fas­ci­nat­ing, and some­times sus­pense­ful, read with much to think about afterwards.

Maya Vida was aban­doned by her par­ents and grew up with her grand­par­ents, an astronomer and a Chilean immi­grant, in Berke­ley, CA.  When her grand­fa­ther dies Maya descends into drugs, alco­hol and a life of petty crime which even­tu­ally leads her to Las Vegas with the FBI, Inter­pol, the local police and a few gang­sters after her.

Maya’s grand­mother helps her escape to Chiloé, a remote island off the coast of Chile. In Chiloe she meets peo­ple from her grandmother’s past and begins to record her story in her notebook.

Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format*

More Books by Isabel Allende


  • Give­away ends: May 28, 2013

  • US/Canada Ship­ping Addresses Only

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Con­grat­u­la­tions: mtakala1@

TLC Book Tour for Maya's Note­book by Isabel Allende:

Wednes­day, April 24th: Twist­ing the Lens

Thurs­day, April 25th: 5 Min­utes For Books

Mon­day, April 29th: A Dream Within a Dream

Tues­day, April 30th: Tiffany’s Book­shelf

Thurs­day, May 2nd: A Book­ish Affair

Mon­day, May 6th: Jenn’s Book­shelves

Tues­day, May 7th: Drey’s Library

Wednes­day, May 8th: A Bookworm’s World

Thurs­day, May 9th: Speak­ing of Books

Mon­day, May 13th: Oldu­vai Reads

Tues­day, May 14th: Krit­ters Ramblings

Wednes­day, May 15th: Savvy Verse & Wit

Thurs­day, May 16th: What She Read … - joint review

Mon­day, May 20th: Book Club Classics!

Tues­day, May 21st: Man of La Book

Wednes­day, May 22nd: From the TBR Pile

Thurs­day, May 23rd: Cere­bral Girl in a Red­neck World

Thurs­day, May 30th: Pep­per­mint PhD

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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