Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Maya's Notebook, by Isabel Allende

At the age of 19, Maya has experienced more than most people do in a lifetime.  Raised primarily by her grandparents, Maya's life took a dramatic turn when she was 16.  She started by cutting class and dressing like a goth, and ended up a homeless, drug addicted prostitute on the run from a street gang and the FBI.  Maya's grandmother comes up with a solution; Maya is going to spend a year on an island off the coast of Chile.  During that year, Maya writes her story in her notebook.

Having never really read much South American and South American inspired literature, I was unsure what to expect from this book.  Yet I get the distinct impression that this book is fairly representative of literature by South American authors.  The pace is slow, and dreamy, which was a bit problematic for me, but to people accustomed to the style it will simply appear beautiful.  The words themselves are lovely, the writing style poetic and lyrical.  

I did adore Maya as a character.  She is incredibly complex.  Although the slow pace of the book was a bit difficult for me, I think it was important to let her character develop slowly.  We needed to really care about her before we learned her entire story.  Maya made the story for me.

Fans of South American authors will surely love this book.

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours, in exchange for my honest review.  See the rest of the tour here.

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