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International best-selling novelist Allende (Ines of My Soul) delivers a no-holds-barred story of Maya Vidal, a troubled 19-year-old American living in exile on Chiloe, a remote island off the coast of Chile. Over the span of one year, Maya records in her notebooks how she arrived on the island and regained her life there. She was raised in Berkeley, CA, by unconventional grandparents, Chilean native Nini and Popo, an African American astronomy professor. When her beloved Popo died, Maya's world fell apart; a few wrong turns led her into drugs, shoplifting, and then, in Las Vegas, to an association with a despicable drug dealer named Brandon, whose hidden cache of counterfeit money she revealed. Soon, a corrupt cop, Brandon's killers, and the FBI were all after her. Nini sent her to the bottom of the world to stay with Manuel, an anthropologist writing a book on magic in Chiloe. Surrounded by the accepting Chilean villagers, Maya learns about herself, her heritage, and her connection to Chile's turbulent past. VERDICT Allende paints a vivid picture contrasting Maya's drug-clouded past and her recovery in Chiloe. Yet another accomplished work by a master storyteller that will enthrall and captivate. This is a must-read. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/12.]-Donna -Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Palisade, CO (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.