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 book alternates between the narrative in the US and that on Chiloe, the island, so the two strands of the story unfold for the reader at more or less the same time. This new book is very different from Isabel's previous historical novels: a contemporary setting; an American (of Latino descent) teenage drug addict as the protagonist and narrating voice; a realistic style of writing rather than a magical realistic one (Chiloe exists, and one can visit it). Maya's voice is modeled on that of Isabel's teenage granddaughter, a native of the Bay area (San Francisco, Berkeley).
About the Author
Isabel Allende is the bestselling author of twelve works of fiction, four memoirs, and three young-adult novels, which have been translated into more than thirty-five languages with sales in excess of fifty-seven million copies. She is the author most recently of the bestsellers Maya's Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Literary Award in 2012. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.
`Another impressive feat with a dazzling cast and bold array of landscapes, woven together with the storytelling prowess that is Allende's trademark.' Daily Telegraph, 4 stars
`Isabel Allende is a mistress storyteller... [her] capacity to surprise keeps her readers page-turning, as do her descriptions of character and place' Independent
`Maya is the lightest of narrative guises: wise beyond her 19 years but convincingly coltish.' Guardian
`An exciting read, well paced.' Daily Express