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 back.
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.
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Really enjoyed reading this. I read it for The Poisoned Pen Bookstore Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book-of-the-Month Club. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a magical realism type fantasy that will immerse you in a mesmerizing tale that celebrates certain aspects of Hispanic culture and heritage, and of course for book clubs.
Loved it, quirks and all. It was a bit strange while also refreshing. I felt close to it because it was comparable to certain traditions and stories I heard growing up.
It transported me into a rich world of eccentric, abstract elements and heavy tradition to create this unique characterization that brought out a lot of bold and subtle family dynamics, the drama, the highs and lows of emotion, as well as certain nuances and simplicities of life that I felt were appreciated in a special way.
In the first parts, there was less of a plot moving forward, instead more reminiscing, more conversation, more of a gathering type scenario. It then became more elaborate in plot as the story went on with connections being made everywhere. It became whimsical and enmeshed in this odd but intriguing ancestral and enlightening path.
The current of a strong matriarch was beautiful in itself, and I should point out that it is not diminutive to the patriarch, rather a lovely, refreshing celebration and depiction of the life enhancing and powerful bonds of motherhood and mother’s relationship to the world, the deep ties, and returning to higher ground with humility even in moments of weakness. This strong foundation, roots of origin supporting and giving life to family.
I love the way scenes were crafted, especially when it came to the circus.
Loved the chapter titles.
Satisfying references, especially the Montoya quote, along with many of which I could understand, laugh, and relate to.
The past tense and POV of omniscient narration worked well for this type of story. It was like being told a fairy tale meshed with family history that you couldn’t wait to see what was coming next.
The style itself was simple but meaningful in a few words and sentences. Definitely not overly descriptive or overly embellished, which are my favorite types.
It took liberty, celebrated, and preserved intermittent use of traditional Spanish language which I appreciated.
I love the imagery, the celestial aspects, the root aspect, the circus scenes.
It was exciting in the reveals of creatures, character, and communal aspects.
And the family tree was a bonus as a sketch placed within the book. I loved the fact that there were so many characters in a book like this. Took it to another level where I felt it personal and meaningful. Probably more to me in specific way given that I’ve been to a lot of funerals and realize that it’s our Spanish culture depicted at family reunions and funerals that typically have a nice, humble paragraph or two about a loved one’s accomplishments, followed by pages of family tree with surnames extending in every direction to include every great great great in every which way. The impact of those accomplishments, recognition, and love, is far reaching.
A lovely read. One that I think will be relatable for some and also speak differently with a lot of value to many people.
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