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The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

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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 he 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.


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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 he 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.

30 review for The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

  1. 4 out of 5

    Yun

    On the surface, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina should be everything I enjoy. So why couldn't I get into it, no matter how hard I tried? Honestly, I'm still puzzling that one out. Orquídea Montoya knows she is dying, so she calls her descendants back home to bestow upon them their inheritance. But when the large family arrives, they are greeted by strange events. And when an unknown figure threatens the entire family, they must band together and venture into Orquídea's past to learn her secret On the surface, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina should be everything I enjoy. So why couldn't I get into it, no matter how hard I tried? Honestly, I'm still puzzling that one out. Orquídea Montoya knows she is dying, so she calls her descendants back home to bestow upon them their inheritance. But when the large family arrives, they are greeted by strange events. And when an unknown figure threatens the entire family, they must band together and venture into Orquídea's past to learn her secrets and protect their future. Sounds promising, right? Well, maybe too much so. This is a really ambitious story, with a huge cast of characters. And I think herein lies the first issue. We are introduced to so many of Orquídea's family members, and each comes with their own accompanying background. We are inundated with information about each person, but it's only ever on the surface. So while my eyes glazed over from all these extraneous details, I still don't feel like I know the characters underneath. The story is told via dual timeline, which always makes me wary that one will be less interesting than the other. Unfortunately, that happened here. We follow various members of Orquídea's family as they wander aimlessly, trying to figure out what happened to Orquídea. But because so much of that is irrelevant to the main story, it felt really slow and plodding. What's more interesting is Orquídea's narrative told through her own eyes, but that's just a chapter here and there. But probably my biggest issue is that, after finishing the story, I'm still confused. There were so many ideas introduced throughout that were never adequately explained. A lot of the fantasy elements, while interesting, were handwaved through with vague or no explanations. And it doesn't help that the writing tends to border on flowery, especially during crucial moments. So instead of elucidating, it just added to the bewildering and chaotic feel of the whole thing. I had such high hopes for this story going in. And while I enjoyed bits and pieces of it, it just never came together into a cohesive whole for me. I didn't end up making that all-important emotional connection with it, and instead come away feeling dazed and unsatisfied. My heartfelt thanks for the copy that was provided for my honest and unbiased review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Finally something gave me same extraordinary literature taste of dreamy magical realism with old time Marguez, Cortaza , Allende vibes! I’m rounding up my 4.5 to 5 blazing family curse, Ecuador roots, ring master, debt, cousins against the world stars! I liked to get lost in the fairy tal-ish chapters, tragicomic family attractions, luring magic, bunch of interesting characters! Four Rivers where the place where Orquidea Montoya’s house appeared from nowhere. The town already lost its water so Finally something gave me same extraordinary literature taste of dreamy magical realism with old time Marguez, Cortaza , Allende vibes! I’m rounding up my 4.5 to 5 blazing family curse, Ecuador roots, ring master, debt, cousins against the world stars! I liked to get lost in the fairy tal-ish chapters, tragicomic family attractions, luring magic, bunch of interesting characters! Four Rivers where the place where Orquidea Montoya’s house appeared from nowhere. The town already lost its water sources,its magic faded till she decides to move to the place. In the deep valley where the four rivers had once intersected she built her house in 1960.( let’s stay not built because it’s truly appeared as if from the ether!) She’s five foot one, brown skinned, black haired, giving you penetrating looks with her blackest eyes: such an intimidating woman, originally coming from Guayaquil, Ecuador who was born during the time when planets converged to create singularly worst luck to a person could ask for. She has carried that cosmic fate for years which was never her fault! But now two husbands and twenty years later she made it to the states, didn’t she? And she found a loophole where she could get rid of her worst luck which was the reason how she got debt by dealing with the wrongest person!!!! Of course as soon as the Montoya family arrived in the town, they brought their own ghost stories with them as great material of town’s gossipers. They didn’t want them in their town but Sheriff Palladino already met Orquidea and got charmed by her presence. So the place welcomed six children, five grandchildren and as well as deaths of four husbands and one daughter. Now she’s sick, before turning into something she needs to talk to her family. She already suffered so much after being in debt of some mysterious creature for 48 freaking years and now she has to pay what she has to protect her loved ones. She sends them letters to summon them to their family house. Marimar has conflict feelings to get grandma Orquidea: for years she resented her for being throwing away from the childhood house and she blamed on her for the death of her mother who has drowned in the lake. Now she’s living in NY with her cousin Rey who is accountant intern and who recently lost his mother. Both of them have hard time to fit in the city, losing their unique voices, living their shells. Their other cousin Tatinelly seems like having a better life in Oregon, carrying her first baby. But as soon as they got the unstamped envelope their grandma sent, they find their ways at the family house located at Four Rivers for collecting their inheritance as a final wish of Orquidea. But instead of inheritance and answers to their questions they wanted to get for years, she just passes away, leaving them with more questions. As the same day she dies, Tatinelly gives birth to her daughter Rhiannon. Seven years later, Marimar, Rey and Tatinelly’s daughter finds themselves granted with different kinds of magical gifts and a dangerous hidden figure starts threatening their family members which bring them together to fight against it to save their loved ones! In the meantime we move back to past for learning more about Orquidea’s past and finding more about the decision she’s made which ruined her entire family’s lives. This book is pure magic, bringing back old time Latin authors’ that perfect magical realism stories back with lovely, deeply layered, honest characterization! It’s definitely one of my favorite fantasy reads of the year! Ms. Cordova creates pure magic with her lyrical words and dreamy chapters! Special thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jananie (thisstoryaintover)

    what a fantastical, mysterious ride, I loved it!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Zoraida Cordova's fantastically wondrous, dream-like, and imaginative novel follows in the footsteps of the South American magical realism tradition, set in Ecuador and the U.S., it is a multi-generational family drama that overflows with the inexplicable, and the author's outstanding gifts with her fascinating and stellar characterisations. The Montoya family have been summoned to receive their inheritance, to the deathbed of their matriarch, Orquidea, who has not left the protected home at Fou Zoraida Cordova's fantastically wondrous, dream-like, and imaginative novel follows in the footsteps of the South American magical realism tradition, set in Ecuador and the U.S., it is a multi-generational family drama that overflows with the inexplicable, and the author's outstanding gifts with her fascinating and stellar characterisations. The Montoya family have been summoned to receive their inheritance, to the deathbed of their matriarch, Orquidea, who has not left the protected home at Four Rivers in Ecuador for some time for any reason. However, their curiosity about the family secrets are to be left unsatisfied as a transformed Orquidea departs this life in a manner that surprises. The narrative goes back and forth in time to reveal Orquidea's colourful, complicated, and intriguing life, joining the circus, the consequences of the decisions she makes, and the tragedies and challenges she faces, which includes abuse. Years later the descendents lives have changed in different ways, thanks to Orquida, using her talents to bestow surprising benefits. However, there is trouble brewing, the family line is facing dangers and threats, that have the descendants having to overcome their issues, Miramer and Rey with their close connections and Rhiannon, Tatinelly's daughter, travelling back to Ecuador to save the family, to get to the truth, the protective magic and the secrets. It can be hard to follow all the twists and turns in this complex story, and much is left ambiguous, and unexplained, but this makes no difference to the joy I derived from reading this beautiful novel, so brilliantly written, that it mesmerises. Cordova draws on and is inspired by the rich tradition of South American myth, legend and folklore, and its culture and perspectives, painting on a wide canvas in this story of magic, its protection, of the power of family and the trauma that can travel through the generations. This is for those readers who love fantasy and appreciate magical realism in particular. A glorious read that I recommend highly. Many thanks to Atria for an ARC.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zoraida

    I haven't updated my process on this one as much as my other books. Mostly because a lot of this book was spent waiting until I finished working on it. Three-ish years! Now that it's finally going to be out in the world, all I want to say is that it's super personal to me. It's a book that's lived in my mind for so long, I just didn't know how to tell it. There's a giveaway of 100 ARCs hosted by my US publisher. Go enter! A reminder that ARCs are not the finished books. I'm also the kind of auth I haven't updated my process on this one as much as my other books. Mostly because a lot of this book was spent waiting until I finished working on it. Three-ish years! Now that it's finally going to be out in the world, all I want to say is that it's super personal to me. It's a book that's lived in my mind for so long, I just didn't know how to tell it. There's a giveaway of 100 ARCs hosted by my US publisher. Go enter! A reminder that ARCs are not the finished books. I'm also the kind of author that works on it until they pry it from my cold dead fingers. Xo, Z

  6. 5 out of 5

    Zoraida

    **Update 2/10/21** HOUSTON WE HAVE A COVER! The artist is Erick Dávila. Check out his work. Erickdavila.com! **Update 2/1/21** THE INHERITANCE OF ORQUÍDEA DIVINA has a change of date! It is now going to be released on September 7th, a month sooner than originally scheduled! ______ My adult debut novel! For more details check out my newsletter, which also includes my Pinterest and Playlist. -> https://mailchi.mp/1b2ab38837ef/janua... **Update 2/10/21** HOUSTON WE HAVE A COVER! The artist is Erick Dávila. Check out his work. Erickdavila.com! **Update 2/1/21** THE INHERITANCE OF ORQUÍDEA DIVINA has a change of date! It is now going to be released on September 7th, a month sooner than originally scheduled! ______ My adult debut novel! For more details check out my newsletter, which also includes my Pinterest and Playlist. -> https://mailchi.mp/1b2ab38837ef/janua...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    I loved this so much it was my pick for September for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club. Gorgeous magical realism. Wonderful characters. Reminded me of Bradbury's From the Dust Returned mixed with The Umbrella Academy. I loved this so much it was my pick for September for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club. Gorgeous magical realism. Wonderful characters. Reminded me of Bradbury's From the Dust Returned mixed with The Umbrella Academy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Magically delicious...... The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina is unlike anything that I've read in some time. It positions you on a comfy cushion of organic tales that unfold through the creative touch of Zoraida Cordova. Prepare yourself for unexplainable happenings that twist and turn and roost heavily in secret places as your mind accommodates the unreasonableness of its reasoning. Orquidea Divina sits within her ancient wooden house in Four Rivers. She reflects on her long journey from Ecuador, Magically delicious...... The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina is unlike anything that I've read in some time. It positions you on a comfy cushion of organic tales that unfold through the creative touch of Zoraida Cordova. Prepare yourself for unexplainable happenings that twist and turn and roost heavily in secret places as your mind accommodates the unreasonableness of its reasoning. Orquidea Divina sits within her ancient wooden house in Four Rivers. She reflects on her long journey from Ecuador, so long ago, to this sparsely inhabited place. Her memories are lined with her five husbands, her multitude of children, and the grandchildren and great-children filling the peripheral of her mind. And as intertwined as all of this is, the span of her life is far more knotted and threaded like the backside of a hanging tapestry. Orquidea stares at the flourish of her handwriting. She has prepared invitations for all of them. The Montoya family has been beckoned to come to Four Rivers in order to claim their inheritance. No one is certain of Orquidea's exact age. Her family only knows that it is time. Cordova will introduce us to all the remaining members who will gather to honor Orquidea as she leaves this world for the next. But it's in the leaving that your curiosity will be piqued to the highest level. Zoraida Cordova sets her novel down within a bevy of interesting characters. I could not even do justice to all of them here and their life expressions. But the two most outstanding of them are the cousins, Marimar and Reymundo "Rey". They are extremely close while living in New York City so far from Four Rivers. The cousins travel to see their grandmother for the last time. They have a remarkable link to one another and this link will fortify them as they experience the reunion of their family and the parting of their grandmother. Cordova shifts her storyline from the present to the past in the back-and-forth seam that leads from Orquidea's early life to her present one. It is filled with fantasy and curiosities and countless life-impacting decisions made by Orquidea and those around her. It's like viewing an expanding and contracting kaleidoscope of patterns taken in all at once. Cordova has a wide and colorful imagination with an exciting panoramic glimpse into "protecting your magic". And isn't that what all of us are compelled to do? I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Simon & Schuster and to the talented Zoraida Cordova for the opportunity.

  9. 4 out of 5

    luce

    | | blog | tumblr | ko-fi | | 3 ½ stars In The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina, Zoraida Córdova combines an intergenerational family drama with magical realism, and the end result will certainly appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman and Isabel Allende. Not only does Córdova’s dazzling storytelling complement the fantastical elements within her story but her prose often brought to mind the language you encounter in fairy tales. The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina follows a dual timeline. The one in the p | | blog | tumblr | ko-fi | | 3 ½ stars In The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina, Zoraida Córdova combines an intergenerational family drama with magical realism, and the end result will certainly appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman and Isabel Allende. Not only does Córdova’s dazzling storytelling complement the fantastical elements within her story but her prose often brought to mind the language you encounter in fairy tales. The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina follows a dual timeline. The one in the present opens with the formidable matriarch Orquídea Divina Montoya inviting her progeny to her funeral. Over the years her children and grandchildren have left her house in Four Rivers, and many of them have not returned since their departure. When they flock back to her home they find out that Orquídea has undergone a drastic change. In this part we are introduced to a lot of characters, many of them don’t even get a speaking line. The house is very crowded and arguments and disagreements inevitably come to pass. No one knows about Orquídea’s past, and some have come to resent her for it. Odd and inexplicable things have always happened to the Montoyas, and maybe, now, on her ‘deathbed’ Orquídea will finally reveal some of her secrets...except that she doesn’t. The narrative jumps seven years ahead where we learn that many of the Montoyas have been dying sudden and bizarre deaths. Someone, or something, maybe after them, but why? The other timeline gives a glimpse into Orquídea’s Cinderellaesque childhood in Ecuador. Told from birth that she would have bad luck Orquídea finds herself growing apart from her mother once she remarries. Her stepsiblings bully her, her stepfather shows her no kindness. Additionally, Orquídea is tasked with various house chores and with looking after her youngest sibling. One day she goes to the circus and finds herself falling in love. The following chapters of her story follow her ill-fated romance. I liked the first chapters, in which we are introduced to the various Montoyas (some more in-depth than others) and see their reactions to Orquídea’s ‘transformation’. The prose is gorgeous, the magical realism on point, and the mystery around Orquídea’s past intriguing. We then get a time-skip of 7+ and I’m afraid that I wasn’t particularly keen on it. We never get to properly know the majority of the Montoyas nor do we truly delve into the experiences of Marimar and Rey, our main characters. I think that much of this novel, especially once we’ve passed Orquídea’s death, relied too much on telling. Marimar was a bit of a generic lead while Rey very much existed for comic relief and many of his lines did seem to make him sound a bit like a stereotype (‘bitchy’, man-obsessed, etc.). He’s basically the gay best friend. The chapters set in the past were somewhat disappointing as I thought they would give us an overview of Orquídea’s life, as opposed to just focusing on her late teens/early 20s. I think her journey and early years in America had the potential of being quite interesting. I mean, she had several husbands and they barely get mentioned. Orquídea herself was hard to like. Having a Cinderella-like sob backstory doesn’t necessarily make you into a sympathetic or complex character. Still, I did find her intriguing and by the end, I did feel on her behalf (kind of). As I said, I wish that more of the Montoyas had been fleshed out. There were some deaths in the story and they had little to no impact because we didn't know that characters who die all that much (they basically were included to be killed off). The 'big bad' was disappointing and at times the story gave me Disney vibes. At one point Córdova describes curls as 'worm-like' and that gets a minus from me. In spite of these things (story+characters being kind of meh) I still thought that this was a good novel. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to those who are looking for character-driven stories or nuanced family sagas, however, if you happen to be a fan of the authors I mentioned above or of the magical realism genre, well, you should definitely consider giving this novel a go. The story is fairly compelling, the author’s prose is lovely, and the fantasy elements were great. Atmospheric and spellbinding The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is an engaging story about love, family, heartache, and fate. ps: while the cover is by no means ugly I do think that it doesn't really suit the tone of the story. Additionally, it is the kind of cover that would be better suited to YA novel, not an adult one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    I finished it! And guess what? I absolutely loved it. Full review to come. In the meantime, let me recommend this is anyone who likes Maggie Stiefvater. This is exactly what I wanted but didn’t get from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue as well. *** This is such a GORGEOUS cover! It sounds so interesting, too. I can’t believe I haven’t heard of it before. Update: THIS IS A BOTM PICK??? YESSSSSSSS MAAAA’AM

  11. 5 out of 5

    Olivia (Stories For Coffee)

    ACTUAL RATING 4.5 STARS The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina is a fantastical, immersive experience that will transport you into a family wrapped in magic and mystery. This story unfolded so beautifully, exploring generational trauma, the power one has within oneself, and reconnecting with your ancestors. Perfect for fans of Like Water For Chocolate's magical realism, readers will lose themselves in the haunting mystery that has traveled down this family's bloodline which was written in a lyrical a ACTUAL RATING 4.5 STARS The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina is a fantastical, immersive experience that will transport you into a family wrapped in magic and mystery. This story unfolded so beautifully, exploring generational trauma, the power one has within oneself, and reconnecting with your ancestors. Perfect for fans of Like Water For Chocolate's magical realism, readers will lose themselves in the haunting mystery that has traveled down this family's bloodline which was written in a lyrical and lush writing style. I cannot recommend enough.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristina (heartsfullofreads)

    Actual rating: 2.5 stars This is one of those books that seemingly had everything I want, but ended up missing the mark. I enjoy magical realism and whimsical tales and this story had both of those things. I appreciated the author's creativity and the themes she explored. However, the execution and plot just didn't work well for me. It was so bizarre at times and the story felt slightly chaotic. I never fell in love with the characters so it was hard to be emotionally invested in the story. I'm b Actual rating: 2.5 stars This is one of those books that seemingly had everything I want, but ended up missing the mark. I enjoy magical realism and whimsical tales and this story had both of those things. I appreciated the author's creativity and the themes she explored. However, the execution and plot just didn't work well for me. It was so bizarre at times and the story felt slightly chaotic. I never fell in love with the characters so it was hard to be emotionally invested in the story. I'm bummed because I really wanted to love this book. Even though this one wasn't for me, I would still encourage you to pick it up if it sounds interesting to you. **ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    The magic that is this book is unexplainable.... WOW! Zoraida Cordova writes a convincing book, it's genre bending and will leave you wanting a lot more. I am generally not someone who enjoy books that takes me all over the place but I wanted to go everywhere Cordova took me. Imagine getting a letter from your grandmother telling you she is dying and you need to come and get your inheritance... UMMM YES PLEASE! Only to show up and your grandmother is a tree (yes, you read that right... tree). Tha The magic that is this book is unexplainable.... WOW! Zoraida Cordova writes a convincing book, it's genre bending and will leave you wanting a lot more. I am generally not someone who enjoy books that takes me all over the place but I wanted to go everywhere Cordova took me. Imagine getting a letter from your grandmother telling you she is dying and you need to come and get your inheritance... UMMM YES PLEASE! Only to show up and your grandmother is a tree (yes, you read that right... tree). That's just the beginning, it gets more crazy (in a good way). There is so much happening in the book, at times it can get overwhelming. I also felt the family tree did not help and it was sooo hard to keep up with all the characters but I felt the author's ambition undertaking paid off. I was entertained, I loved reading about Ecuador, the mysticism and the magic. Yes, there were draw backs but if you are looking for an escape, the life of Orquidea Divina is definitely worth reading!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Hands down the best book Zoraida Cordova has written! The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina is a literary fantasy full of strange magic, family secrets, and heartache. This Latinx story follows the Montoya family, not strangers to unexplained occurrences, curses, and everyday magic. When the children and grandchildren of matriarch Orquidea receive letters asking them to return home before she dies to receive their inheritance, things begin to unravel. I don't want to spoil anything because this is Hands down the best book Zoraida Cordova has written! The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina is a literary fantasy full of strange magic, family secrets, and heartache. This Latinx story follows the Montoya family, not strangers to unexplained occurrences, curses, and everyday magic. When the children and grandchildren of matriarch Orquidea receive letters asking them to return home before she dies to receive their inheritance, things begin to unravel. I don't want to spoil anything because this is a story worth experiencing for yourself, but we get a perspective in the past following the life and history of Orquidea, and also a few perspectives of her grandchildren. I thought this was achingly beautiful and otherworldly. It deals with difficult topics such as death, neglect, loss of a child, and abusive relationships. It's a story about people making misakes, trying to do better for their children but causing pain along the way. But it's also a hopeful story and a beautiful one. The audio narration is fabulous (thank you Libro.FM for the audiobook!) and worth listening too if audiobooks are your thing. I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    So I struggled rating this book. The concept sounded really interesting, but it fell flat of expectations. While I don’t mind plots that unravel slowly over time, I feel like this waited too long to get there. At times while reading it felt disjointed and I thought I had missed something, to the point I flipped back and reread what happened before just to make sure. I would have loved more focus on the magic itself and how they developed it until it lead up to seeing what they able to do with it So I struggled rating this book. The concept sounded really interesting, but it fell flat of expectations. While I don’t mind plots that unravel slowly over time, I feel like this waited too long to get there. At times while reading it felt disjointed and I thought I had missed something, to the point I flipped back and reread what happened before just to make sure. I would have loved more focus on the magic itself and how they developed it until it lead up to seeing what they able to do with it. It almost felt like they crammed all this into the end of the book instead. Overall it was a cool idea, but I would have loved for the whole book to be more similar to the end.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anna Eklund

    I devoured this book. Ravenously. It was dark and rich and knowing and full. The descriptions of the plot—of a family invited by its matriarch to attend her funeral and receive their inheritance, of those family members manifesting gifts (or not) years later, of their generations starting to fall at the hands of a mysterious figure and their quest to understand why taking them back to the birthplace of that matriarch—hardly begin to do this story justice. The jacket copy, magical as it is, is th I devoured this book. Ravenously. It was dark and rich and knowing and full. The descriptions of the plot—of a family invited by its matriarch to attend her funeral and receive their inheritance, of those family members manifesting gifts (or not) years later, of their generations starting to fall at the hands of a mysterious figure and their quest to understand why taking them back to the birthplace of that matriarch—hardly begin to do this story justice. The jacket copy, magical as it is, is the sparest frame upon which a truly transformative experience of a novel is woven, alchemized. Zoraida Cordova’s first adult novel is a breathless, magical story of falling stars and roses blooming from bodies, transmutation into moonstone and softly speaking fireflies, the planting of seeds borne from bodies and vines erupting from the ground in stark defense of outrage or intrusion. This book spans decades, generations, continents. It tours Europe with a circus and puts down roots in a secluded valley. It purifies with fire and it rebuilds from ash. It studies silence and screaming and whispers and song, art and cooking and writing and loving, loss and gain and bargaining and settling, love in all its many and varied forms, some truer than we let ourselves see and some elaborate lies we tell or are told. And the women. Women strong and weak, vulnerable and stubborn. In denial, in acceptance, in all their nuanced, many-faceted glory. I loved these characters and the histories they spun, entangled together like the roots of the orchids, laurels, and ceiba trees they all channel or reflect. This book was transporting. And important. And so, so lovely that I am aching for it, even now having crossed its expanse. Read this.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ellery Adams

    From the first chapter, this novel reminded me of Gabrial Garcia Marquez's writings. The beautiful segments of magical realism blended with the familial drama were every bit as skillfully executed as Marquez's, but Cordova's narrative is much easier to follow and therefore more satisfying. Such creativity! I'll happily read anything this author writes. From the first chapter, this novel reminded me of Gabrial Garcia Marquez's writings. The beautiful segments of magical realism blended with the familial drama were every bit as skillfully executed as Marquez's, but Cordova's narrative is much easier to follow and therefore more satisfying. Such creativity! I'll happily read anything this author writes.

  18. 5 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    This may be one of the most dreamiest and enchanting books I've had the pleasure to read. Cordova takes us on a journey full of mystery and wonder through the strange life of Orquídea Divina and her progeny - and I was captivated from start to finish. - Told in alternating perspectives, the story follows Orquídea Divina through her life as well as her progeny as they try and understand their grandmother, the choices that she made, and the woman that she became. - Strange and wonderful things happ This may be one of the most dreamiest and enchanting books I've had the pleasure to read. Cordova takes us on a journey full of mystery and wonder through the strange life of Orquídea Divina and her progeny - and I was captivated from start to finish. - Told in alternating perspectives, the story follows Orquídea Divina through her life as well as her progeny as they try and understand their grandmother, the choices that she made, and the woman that she became. - Strange and wonderful things happen in this book: the Montoya family discover that their matriarch is dying and is transforming into a tree, there is an otherworldly being made of light, flowers grow out of the Montoya progeny. The magical realism in this is truly sublime. - This is a full-length adult version of Cordova's story, Divine are the Stars in the Toil and Trouble witch anthology, a book I really enjoyed. While her short story felt a lot like 'vibes', The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is a fleshed out and fascinating development of her short story idea - and it worked so well! - The writing in this is exquisite. It's just so riveting and I just felt... so enchanted. I loved listening to the story - Frankie Corzo was the perfect narrator for this. - Thematically, it's about intergenerational family drama and trauma, the ripple effects of our choices, and revenge. - Honestly? I just loved this. Atmospheric, thoroughly magical, and such a sweeping adventure. Content warning: murder, death, fantasy body horror, arson, parental neglect and abuse I was provided an audiobook listening copy from Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Oyinda

    Book 271 of 2021 This was so beautiful, vivid, captivating, and lush. the author painted such a wonderful and dreamy picture with her words - not just of the various settings, but of the different characters. I enjoyed so many aspects of this book. There's just something about a well-done dysfunctional intergenerational book with family secrets and simmering resentments that gets me! I was so excited to find that this book was one of the Libro FM ALCs for the month of September. This was already o Book 271 of 2021 This was so beautiful, vivid, captivating, and lush. the author painted such a wonderful and dreamy picture with her words - not just of the various settings, but of the different characters. I enjoyed so many aspects of this book. There's just something about a well-done dysfunctional intergenerational book with family secrets and simmering resentments that gets me! I was so excited to find that this book was one of the Libro FM ALCs for the month of September. This was already on my TBR thanks to bookstagram and when I got it, I couldn't wait to get to it. I read it all in almost one sitting and it was so good. Told in multiple timelines and in shifting third person POVs, this is a sweeping and moving tale of family and secrets. Orquídea is a powerhouse and I love her so much. She's such a formidable character and she never relented in her quest to create a better life for herself. The writing was so lush and beautiful and drew me in from the very first paragraph. The characters were interesting and layered and I love that each one was so unique, I hardly got them mixed up (the grandkids, that is. I couldn't tell one uncle or aunt from another). This book is what I will call intergenerational perfection. We mostly skip a generation because most of the story alternates between Orquídea and her grandchildren/great-grandchild, and we don't get a lot of coverage on the lives of her children. Magic and secrets are powerful forces in this book. The grandkids have always known there's something strange about their grandmother but they never had any bit of her magic. They are also exasperated by her secrets and her refusal to open up about anything. At the end of the day, the driving force behind the book is her grandchildren going on a journey to find answers to the questions they had about their grandmothers life. Frankie Corzo was the audiobook narrator and always, she did a wonderful job! ✨✨

  20. 4 out of 5

    ☆Laura☆

    This book takes place in MY COUNTRY. Turns out both Zoraida Córdova and I are from Guayaquil, Ecuador. I’m really excited.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    3.5 stars rounded up. This was a beautifully written and magical story with quite a dreamy feel. It was very much a story of magical realism- for my tastes it was a little too light on the magic and I think I was hoping for more witchery. It felt just a little flat to me. It was only at the end that we see the whole picture and actually this did redeem itself.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sana

    'This is the story of a woman who grew on air, like the flower she’s named after. Orquídea Divina lived her life unwanted, unnurtured, and unseen. And yet, she thrived, even without roots. She made her own way in the world and seized power in any way possible to protect her own heart. She created the family she never had. This is Orquídea.' AKA I WANT. Adult magical realism, let's goooo. Also, that cover is gorgeous! Source 'This is the story of a woman who grew on air, like the flower she’s named after. Orquídea Divina lived her life unwanted, unnurtured, and unseen. And yet, she thrived, even without roots. She made her own way in the world and seized power in any way possible to protect her own heart. She created the family she never had. This is Orquídea.' AKA I WANT. Adult magical realism, let's goooo. Also, that cover is gorgeous! Source

  23. 5 out of 5

    Audra (ouija.reads)

    A beautiful multi-generational tale mixing magic, magical realism, Ecuadorian folklore, and a lot of heart. The story alternately tells the story of Orquídea Divina Montoya's life and that of her children and grandchildren attempting to unravel the net of secrets she left behind. Córdova is an effortless storyteller, juggling a huge cast of characters and a time and space sprawling plotline with ease. Each of the characters felt so real and beautiful, and you can feel the warmth of this family sh A beautiful multi-generational tale mixing magic, magical realism, Ecuadorian folklore, and a lot of heart. The story alternately tells the story of Orquídea Divina Montoya's life and that of her children and grandchildren attempting to unravel the net of secrets she left behind. Córdova is an effortless storyteller, juggling a huge cast of characters and a time and space sprawling plotline with ease. Each of the characters felt so real and beautiful, and you can feel the warmth of this family shine especially in scenes where they all come together. The writing and story convey the joy and pride this family has as well as the effects of intergenerational trauma. This book follows in the footsteps of magical realism masters like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, offering a modern take and a uniquely Ecuadorian and American perspective from the wide range of characters. It is the type of book that you just cannot help but to fall fully into and experience it. My thanks to Atria for my advance copy of this one to read and review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tomes And Textiles

    Full review coming soon! 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stay Fetters

    "I thought she was just afraid to see the world. Turns out she saw, she conquered, and she said ‘no thanks’." This was a mesmerizing story. It was magical and enchanting. It really makes you want to hug your family a little tighter and cherish all the moments with them, big and small. "I thought she was just afraid to see the world. Turns out she saw, she conquered, and she said ‘no thanks’." This was a mesmerizing story. It was magical and enchanting. It really makes you want to hug your family a little tighter and cherish all the moments with them, big and small.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Neeks

    I had an ARC copy so a full review discussing all the intricacies that I fell in love with will be here after the finished book rolls out.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Simone

    I picked this one recently because it was compared to Alice Hoffman (the author of Practical Magic) and I needed a little bit of magic in my life. But what I received was something way more and way better than the magical books I've been reading. This story was definitely a stunner and I had so much fun reading it and getting to know The Montoyas. I'm so blown away by the writing, the story, and the characters. I've read Zoraida Cordova before, but this felt like nothing I've read from her in the I picked this one recently because it was compared to Alice Hoffman (the author of Practical Magic) and I needed a little bit of magic in my life. But what I received was something way more and way better than the magical books I've been reading. This story was definitely a stunner and I had so much fun reading it and getting to know The Montoyas. I'm so blown away by the writing, the story, and the characters. I've read Zoraida Cordova before, but this felt like nothing I've read from her in the past. Well, mostly that's also because I was reading her YA fantasy fiction and not her adult novels. And this delivered! The writing is gorgeous, the pacing is beautiful (up until the end where it got rushed), the mystery was mysterious (albeit a bit predictable), and all together such a great read. It was not necessarily a fantasy book, but I wouldn't call it magical realism either. There was magic, for sure, but it definitely felt more like a fantasy. I would go as far as say science fiction, even! But this genre blending book definitely gave me all the feels. I loved Marimar, Rey, and Rhiannon as they journey from their grandmother's small home in Four Rivers to Ecuador and find out more about what happened to her. From the flowers growing out of their bodies to the ultimate power they release at the end, it truly blew my mind to read their whole story. Reading about Marimar and Rey, especially, and the lives they lived through their family traumas and dramas made the story so much more relatable to me. I felt so much for both of these characters and the middle ground they found themselves stuck in. And as they were searching for their grandmother's past, they were learning so much about themselves in the process. It was really beautiful. The family dynamics between them all plus all of Orquidea's other children and grandchildren reminded me so much of my own family. While I came from a patriarchy rather than a matriarchy, the close-knit bond I have with my aunts and uncles and cousins is a stronger relationship than I've had with any friend in my life. And I loved that Marimar and Rey were cousins, but were best friends as well. It really brought home the family bits that really pulled at my heartstrings. Written in a dual timeline, you read both Orquidea's origin story and the story of her grandchildren as they try to uncover their grandmother's mysterious past. But you get first-hand experience on the life Orquidea lived and while it felt like such an adventure, there were some pitfalls she found herself in. It was sad and a little cringey (I could feel my toes curl when the villain finally showed itself), I still rooted for her to find her path, find love, and find a life where she's wanted and cared for. The mystery component was a little bit disappointing, but I still loved it. This is where it felt more like a magical story. There was an ominous quality to the mysterious stranger who stalked Marimar, Rey, Rhiannon and her parents, and it was really interesting to see how that turned out. Overall, I highly recommend this book if you're a fan of magic, mystery, a little bit of history, and sweeping family stories. I hope this becomes a movie because I can already see all of this playing so perfectly in my head.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    I love a good Central/South American-rooted novel, don't you? Especially the ones that are rife with family myth and magical realism. College-aged Marimar and Ray are cousins, raised in the same home after Marimar's mother tragically died. Aside from being close friends, they share an understanding that nobody else can: their grandmother has real magic, and she makes weird things happen all the time. When they each receive an invitation to Abuella Orquídea Divina's home at Four Rivers, they know I love a good Central/South American-rooted novel, don't you? Especially the ones that are rife with family myth and magical realism. College-aged Marimar and Ray are cousins, raised in the same home after Marimar's mother tragically died. Aside from being close friends, they share an understanding that nobody else can: their grandmother has real magic, and she makes weird things happen all the time. When they each receive an invitation to Abuella Orquídea Divina's home at Four Rivers, they know it must be serious. Orquídea is very old now, and she has invited the entire family - her descendants from all five of her husbands. Imagine everybody's surprise when they arrive to find Orquídea Divina turning into a tree, apologizing for leaving them stuck with a terrible curse. The book is split into the current timeline which spans 7 or 8 years, and Orquídea's past from the time she was born until she's maybe twenty. I was more interested in the current timeline usually, although the past really picked up when Orquídea ran off and joined the circus... I giggled at the not-so-subtle poke Córdova takes at Anglo heritage via cousin Tatinelly's husband Mike Sullivan, whose large Irish-American family had no sabor; no mystery. When he arrives at Orquídea's home, his complete lack of cultural context to everything he sees and experiences there makes him extremely nauseous. At times he faints dead away. I really like this one, and her Incendiary series is good, too. I look forward to reading more from Zoraida Córdova.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bridget Costello

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is written very well but is definitely a slow read. I felt like I was reading an old legend but it took place in present day. I wish I could appreciate this plot but I just could not get into it. It was like I was having a bad trip with people turning into trees, flowers growing out of their bodies, star people, human ponds (etc) but they weren’t doing anything thrilling or scary. I expected thrilling and scary from the BOTM Fantasy pick. 3 stars.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    Absolutely stunning. I am in tears.

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