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Maya's Notebook | [Isabel Allende]

Maya's Notebook

Neglected by her parents, 19-year-old Maya Nidal has grown up in Berkeley with her grandparents. Her grandmother Nini is a force of nature, a woman whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973. Popo, Maya's grandfather, is 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, turning to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime in a downward spiral that eventually bottoms out in Las Vegas.
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Publisher's Summary

Neglected by her parents, 19-year-old Maya Nidal has grown up in Berkeley with her grandparents. Her grandmother Nini is a force of nature, a woman whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973. Popo, Maya's grandfather, is 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, turning to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime in a downward spiral that eventually bottoms out in Las Vegas. Lost in a dangerous underworld, she is caught in the cross­hairs of warring forces. 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.

©2013 Isabel Allende (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (143 )
5 star
 (61)
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Overall
4.1 (125 )
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Story
4.1 (124 )
5 star
 (56)
4 star
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3 star
 (13)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Natalie Chilliwack, BC, Canada 05-23-13
    Natalie Chilliwack, BC, Canada 05-23-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Not Allende's Usual Standard"

    I usually love Allende's novels and was eager to listen to her latest work. It's okay, but it certainly doesn't match her usual standard. The story just isn't that interesting, and I'm surprised that she produced something so predictable and average. Maya's Notebook has received rave reviews on Amazon, and I'm left wondering what they read that I didn't. Dull and disappointing.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R.J. Mulder 05-13-14
    R.J. Mulder 05-13-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Narrator ruins this book"
    Would you try another book from Isabel Allende and/or Maria Cabezas?

    Not an audible book, but in paper, I may. Though not for a while.


    How could the performance have been better?

    To start with another narrator


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to like this book because I wanted to read something else then thrillers and detectives. I read several books of Isabel Allende and I always enjoyed them. The narration of this book was so disgusting that I missed the whole story. The only thing I could hear after half an hour was this dreadful monotonous voice. Every sentence the same, ending in the same low pitch. The story itself seemed boring as well but I could not really tell.
    Don't read this is my advice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alicia SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States 01-04-14
    Alicia SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States 01-04-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
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    "Allende lost her inspiration"
    What would have made Maya's Notebook better?

    If she had a good story to tell .


    What was most disappointing about Isabel Allende’s story?

    The story


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Not much. The book is "flat" and irrelevant


    Any additional comments?

    A good book is comprised of two parts: a good story and how the author tells the story . Allende has not "found" a good story for a long time. She was a remarkable storyteller . Maybe she should stop writing until she has something meaningful to write about .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    patrice United States 07-29-13
    patrice United States 07-29-13 Member Since 2011

    QUILTING QUEEN

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Always a pleasure!"

    I can never get enough Isabel Allende! This story is a modern glimpse of a young girl, entangled by drugs, bad companions and domestic abandonment. Her evolution is both heart wrenching and spiritual guided by the people who teach her big life lessons.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PaintPots The Hague Netherlands 07-03-13
    PaintPots The Hague Netherlands 07-03-13 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful writing, beautiful narration, good story"
    What did you love best about Maya's Notebook?

    The writing is simply superb and the narrator's voice brings it alive - so lovely to listen to. The "double" story line is also very interesting - the life of a drug addict and the life of recovery in Chili. Very interesting and the weaving of the two works very nicely - it keeps it interesting and is not hard to follow. I also really enjoyed learning a bit of Chili's checkered past.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Floris 11-20-14
    Floris 11-20-14 Member Since 2007

    quiltartist

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    "Performance not up to usual quality"
    Any additional comments?

    The narrator paused at strange places in some sentences, sounding as if this was the first time she was seeing the sentence. I think these sections should have been re-recorded.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    adriana Poile 06-10-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    17
    2
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    "very predictable"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    it was ok, not well spend.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Isabel Allende? Why or why not?

    yes, she is a good story teller.


    What three words best describe Maria Cabezas’s performance?

    neither like or dislike her voice.


    Was Maya's Notebook worth the listening time?

    I just say, that I just had to finished what I started.


    Any additional comments?

    the story was very predictable, I knew what was going to happen way before, and that is not good. I knew from the beginning who was who and what have they done. I like Isabel Allende's books, but this one was not the best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Redwood City, CA, United States 02-21-14
    Patricia Redwood City, CA, United States 02-21-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    "An explosive novel!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Maya's Notebook to be better than the print version?

    Yes, the characters come alive....you can easily adapt to each of them, you become attatched to Maya.


    What other book might you compare Maya's Notebook to and why?

    Bless me Ultima...very cultural.


    Which character – as performed by Maria Cabezas – was your favorite?

    Nini - Grandmother and Manuel.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Maya's Journey


    Any additional comments?

    An explosive novel…Every character is enthralling…This is a boldly plotted, sharply funny, and purposefully bone-shaking novel of sexual violence, political terror, “collective shame,” and dark family secrets, all transcended by courage and love.” I did not want it to end....Isabelle Allende poured her magic....loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Briseyda 09-23-13
    Briseyda 09-23-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved it! Maya is crazy lucky easy to love!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Already have! its a good story!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Maya's Notebook?

    Vegas, Vegas was crazy Maya doesn't know how lucky she is to not have fallen to bigger pray. I think the moment I would remember is when she retells when she was in a homeless shelter and steals from a lady with a child... she took her last $5 to get a fix.


    Have you listened to any of Maria Cabezas’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    yes, I think she portrayed Mayas character perfectly.


    If you could take any character from Maya's Notebook out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would have loved to meet Maya's popo as she calls him, He was tall dark and handsome He married her grandmother he was an astronomer a professor in uc berkeley, He accepted her grandmothers chilean culture with out giving up his. I love the way the meet, Nidia Visal has bras ball!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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