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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    162
  • 4 Stars
    104
  • 3 Stars
    48
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    16
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    156
  • 4 Stars
    96
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    13
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    6

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    156
  • 4 Stars
    83
  • 3 Stars
    42
  • 2 Stars
    17
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    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Natalie
  • Chilliwack, BC, Canada
  • 05-23-13

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

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Allende

loved this! I have always enjoyed Allende 's books and her writing...especially when she writes about Chile. she captures the times, the flavor and the sights.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Stellar

Excellent narration of a fascinating tale, combining history, underworld crime, and strong family connections. I would listen again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Alicia
  • SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States
  • 01-04-14

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gilda
  • BERGENFIELD, NJ, United States
  • 04-27-18

Inconspicuous drama and action

Entertaining story and left me wanting for more. Had sad moments, funny turns and insightful ones too.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I'm not sure about this one

I don't regret reading this book but I can't say that it was a great book either. I love Isabelle Allende and her perspectives and writing style are always going to interest me, even if she writes the ingredients for a recipe. But the characters were at once likable and frustrating. Too frustrating for my taste. Maybe someone else would benefit more from this story. I can acknowledge that at least. I know this is a wishy-washy review but it's the best I can do.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book...surprising ending!

What made the experience of listening to Maya's Notebook the most enjoyable?

Maya's Notebook was enjoyable because the narrator seems to really capture the character and her personality.

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

The ending!

What about Maria Cabezas’s performance did you like?

Maya's Notebook was enjoyable because the narrator seems to really capture the character and her personality.

If you could rename Maya's Notebook, what would you call it?

Maya's Story