By Karen Valby
April 12, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

Maya's Notebook

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  • Book
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Nineteen-year-old Maya is sent by her fiercely devoted grandmother to live in an idyllic, insular island town off the coast of Chile in Maya’s Notebook. Here she leans on the support of a limping stray dog and a stoic writer to heal the wounds of her teenage years. As Maya recovers on the island, Allende weaves in a blistering portrait of her runaway history in Las Vegas, where she sank into drugs, crime, and prostitution. While the present charms, and the past rivets (Allende can spin a yarn with the grace of a poet), the novel reads as if it were about two separate girls who never merge into one. B

Maya's Notebook

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