Isabel Allende''s startling novel of suspense and a
contemporary coming-of-age story narrated by an American teenage
girl who falls into a life of drugs and crime and eventually finds
refuge and salvation on a small island in her grandmother''s native
Neglected by her parents, nineteen-year-old Maya Vidal has grown
up in a rambling old house in Berkeley, with her grandmother, Nini,
an outspoken, fiercely protective émigré from Chile, and her
grandfather Popo, a wise and gentle African-American astronomer and
When Popo dies of cancer, Maya becomes ensnared in a spiral of
destruction that leads her into a dangerous criminal underworld.
Her one chance for survival is Nini, who helps her escape to a
remote island off the coast of Chile. In this peaceful refuge, 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.