Zorro by Isabel Allende

#64 in my book challenge for the year was Isabel Allende’s Zorro. A kind friend had an extra ticket to see Allende last month, so I moved Zorro to the top of my reading list. Allende was intelligent, political, and funny in person, so I’m glad I went. But not only could I not finish the book in time for the event, but it took me nearly three weeks to read. I’m not sure if it took so long because of life circumstances (holiday, family visit, nearly constant family viruses) or because I didn’t love the book. Reviews say it’s a page turner with great characterization. I didn’t find it to be either. It’s clear that Allende did a lot of research into the history of the Zorro legend and the time period. While I found the historical details interesting, especially about Spain and the Spanish treatment of the native Americans, I never felt very engaged with the characters. Is it history or coincidence that the clever girl in the story is named Isabel? Additionally, what struck me at the end was how much the character of Batman owes to the legend of Zorro.

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