At their matriarch's funeral the Montoyas receive a truly magical inheritance. But with great riches come great enemies.
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Why I love it
My favorite stories are the ones that defy definition, that bend and blur the boundaries of genre. Stories that insert poetry into memoir, science fiction into literary, speculative into history. Zoraida Córdova’s latest novel is one of those rare gems that manages to make you forget the boundaries exist at all.
Centered around the impending death of the family matriarch, Orquídea, the novel moves in two directions: As the surviving children and grandchildren travel to her house in Four Rivers, Cordova draws us on a journey back to the beginning. This is a tale of place as much as person, leading us from a village in Ecuador to a traveling circus called the Londoño Spectacular Spectacular to Orquídea’s house in Four Rivers, a mysterious place that grew up overnight. Each setting marks an era in Orquídea’s life, and each adds its own layer of magic, sometimes subtle, other times blindingly bright. The novel unfolds slowly, following the tendrils of Orquídea’s life and family in a way that isn’t always linear, but organic, which is entirely fitting, given the nature of the story. Orquídea’s death is imminent from the opening pages, when she invites her heirs to come and collect their inheritance. But she is alive on every page in this book.
Deftly weaving together past and present, history and family The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is the best kind of book, the one that plants a seed in your mind, and lets it grow long after you’ve finished reading. A story at once delicate and robust, subtle and powerful, and brimming with magic.
The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low or empty, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—even for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed, leaving them with more questions than answers.
Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Tatinelly’s daughter, Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, the four descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked backed.
Alternating between Orquídea’s past and her descendants’ present, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is an enchanting novel about what we knowingly and unknowingly inherit from our ancestors, the ties that bind, and reclaiming your power.