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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