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.
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Ormond Beach, FL
An amazing book about family and magic, and how you’re connected no matter how much time and distance is between you. The Montoya’s are wild, real, and magical, and make you love them for their flaws.
I haven’t read a magical realism-type of book since college, and I loved reading this genre again. I really cared for Orquidea’s family by the end and loved how the magic was effortlessly woven in.
5/5 - there was love, mystery, drama, magic, action, & suspense all in one book. It was magical, fantastical, & beautifully written. It sucks you in from the beginning and doesn’t let go til the end.
Chula Vista , CA
Where do I even begin? The writing was beautiful, the characters unforgettable and so relatable. I found myself laughing out loud and getting irritated and I felt all the feels. Couldn’t put it down.
Grants Pass, OR
I took a chance on this pick, and it paid off! This was a fantastic story of family and magic. I was hooked the whole way through. The mystery of Orquidea's past was enthralling! So glad I chose this.
This book was spectacular, and really made me understand how much I love magical realism. Only issue was more with the editors. There are so many typos, did you all even look at the copy before print?
PORT ORANGE, FL
One of the best pieces of magical realism I've ever read! The journey from the valley to the stars was a slow burn, but one that literally ended in the most beautiful supernova of family's divine love
I don't have much experience with magical realism, but as strange as this book is, I really enjoyed it. It's got family secrets, corrupted love, revenge, and generational trauma, with humor and magic.
New York , NY
I thought this was a beautiful book. It was so lyrical and character driven and I loved so many aspects of the story. I kept wanting to know the family secrets and I loved the incorporation of nature.
I really enjoying the enchanting / whimsical nature of this book and became attached to the main characters quickly. It's a quick read that keeps you entertained throughout. I'll be reading it again.
It’s been a while since I read a novel with the Old magic of deals and wishes. Each and every character were main characters. All of them just as important to make this story what it is. Amazing.
I enjoyed this intricate family saga rich with magic and history. I loved the fantastic job the author did of painting the settings. Zoraida Cordova took my breath away with her lyrical depictions.
While the ending seemed a little rushed, I loved the pull and pace of this book. The mystery, the magic, the mildly spooky secrets, the characters all coming to life of their own right. Great read.
A poignant and lyrical magical realism book. Loved reading about this family. One criticism: the ending felt rushed and finally inconsistent with the rest of the book. Nevertheless, still loved it!
Cleburne , TX
This book was so beautiful and so bizarre! It is the kind of book that I know will stay with me for a long time to come. I am SO glad I stepped outside of my usual genres to give this book a shot!
I love how reality and the extraordinary are told side by side throughout Orquidea’s life! She and her descendants leap off the page and demand to be heard. Practical Magic meets Mexican Gothic!
New Braunfels, TX
Orquidea is cursed from birth. Upon her death she calls everyone home to leave them their inheritance and a mystery they must solve to end the Montoya family curse. Marimar leads the family curse.
I'm so happy that I got this beautiful mysterious book. 'The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina' gave me so many questions and each twist kept me on the edge of my seat. Definitely enjoyed this one.
San Ramon, CA
I loved everything about this story! It was so creative and original while still reminding of classic fairytales in some ways. I fell in love with the strong female characters and all the magic!
Magical realism is my favorite genre. This book had it all: mystery, intrigue, family drama. At its heart, it is about family and decisions that reverberate for generations. Excellent adventure.