The author of The House of the Spirits returns with a gritty yet transcendent tale of teenage addiction.
The narrator and protagonist of Maya's Notebook is a 19-year-old girl who grows up in Berkeley, California, and falls into a life of drug addiction and crime. To rescue Maya and save her from the criminal types pursuing her, Maya's Chilean grandmother sends her to a remote island off the southern coast of Chile. Here she lives among a traditional rural people, the Chilote, who speak an older form of Spanish and have remained largely isolated from the materialism, crime, and fast-paced contemporary life which is our own. The audiobook alternates between the narrative in the United States and that on Chiloe, the island, so the two strands of the story unfold for the listener at more or less the same time.
This audiobook is very different from Isabel's previous historical novels, with a contemporary setting; an American (of Latino descent) teenage drug addict as the protagonist and narrating voice; and a realistic style of writing rather than a magical realistic one (Chiloe exists, and one can visit it). Maya's voice is modelled on that of Isabel's teenage granddaughter, a native of the Bay Area (San Francisco, Berkeley).
Praise for Isabel Allende:
"A magical storyteller." ( Daily Mail)
"Allende's writing is so vivid we hear the sounds, see the bright birds, smell and even taste the soft fruit." ( The Times)
"A wonderful, seemingly effortless storyteller; you feel yourself sink into the folds of her narrative with an almost childlike certainty that you're going to hear a good story well told." ( Irish Independent)
"Her prose is rich and magical, her characters vivid. She mixes violence and horror, love and humour, with more than a touch of genius." (Mary Wesley)
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An Isabel Allende clasic
I would recommend it to an Isabel Allende aficionado, but if you don't like magical realism, you're not going to really like Maya's Notebook.
Maya's grandmother, she was an amzing woman
The depths to which Maya sank.
- Janet Hughes
A very interesting story
- Celine Whitehouse