Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende
Maya is a 19 year-old girl who was raised by her grandparents. She feels lost; her rebellion ultimately lands her in a terrible addiction to drugs and alcohol, living among the most destitute of addicts and thugs in Las Vegas. After some brush with criminal activity, she needs to both recover from her addiction and hide for her own safety. She ends up living on an island off the coast of Chile where the beauty, the slow pace of life, the hospitality of the island's population work their magic on her. It's a story of Maya's recovery, self-discovery, love, family bonds, and intrigue, all of which she records in her notebook.
The characters are eccentric and loveable. The history embedded in the story is heart-wrenching. The writing is beautiful. I am glad my book group chose to read this one as it may not otherwise have reached the top of my TBR list.