49 pages 1 hour read

Isabel Allende


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2005

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Part 2Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2: “Barcelona, 1810-1812”

Part 2, Pages 93-125 Summary

The unnamed narrator briefly speaks in their own voice, reflecting on their project of chronicling Zorro’s feats. They state that “the part to come is more important than what happened before” (93). The story then continues with Diego and Bernardo’s voyage to Spain. The two sail first to Panama, gambling with the crew and playing on the rigging. The second, longer leg of the trip sets out from Portobelo. During the long journey across the Atlantic, Diego befriends the ship’s captain, Santiago de León, who introduces him to new, challenging ideas about politics, society, and religion.

In Barcelona, Diego stays with an old acquaintance of his father’s, Tomás de Romeu, while pursuing his studies at the School of Humanities. Diego and Bernardo meet de Romeu’s daughters, Juliana and Isabel, as well as their chaperone Nuria. Diego is immediately taken with Juliana, whom he deems “the most beautiful woman in the word” (113).

Arriving in Spain during the French occupation, Diego confronts many difficult political and moral issues. De Romeu, Diego’s host, is sympathetic to the French and the liberal ideas they are introducing to the country, but other Spaniards are unhappy with the situation and support the brutal guerilla war against the occupying troops.