Cover Image: The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

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Member Reviews

As a person who is very into genealogy and had to do some deep digging over a long time to figure out the history of a grandparent, this book is VERY close to my heart. 
Things I loved:
-multiple POVs, but set in past and future. All are done excellently. Every time you switch between past and present you kind of want to stay with the current POV but also are dying to know what happens next in the past. 
-the writing is spectacular. I wouldn’t call this purple prose but purple… adjacent. It’s just magical. 
-the characters feel like real people, which means as usual I am worried about them and wish they’d call to check in with me even though I know they’re fictional and that’s impossible but I CARE. 
-I loved Rey’s journey with art
-I loved how well depicted dysfunctional families were. There’s a line where marimar asks Orchidea “what happened to you, what broke your heart so badly it’s fracture found their way through our family” and OMG I felt that in my soul

A phenomenal book, absolutely magical and haunting and I will never forget it.
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A very original and exciting concept that had me very much enthralled In this book! Loved the family dynamic even though many have been distant for a few years when they come back together even though it’s tough love inside they love each other dearly 

A great read wasn’t the best book in the world but had a fun time
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I know and love Zoraida Córdova for her contributions to the YA urban fantasy genre, including the books in her Brooklyn Brujas series and her more recent anthology of YA vampire tales. But this year, Zoraida is back with something quite different! The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina, which came out just last week, is an adult fantasy novel that takes a very Gothic approach to exploring family and identity.

From her magic-infused home in the rural valley of Four Rivers, a grand matriarch named Orquídea Divinia Montoya sends out invitations to her own funeral, telling them “Come and collect your inheritance.” As the ragtag band of Montoya descendants reluctantly return to their ancestral home, they have no idea what to expect. Most haven’t been to the house in years and have been trying to bury their memories of the illogical and unexplainable things they experienced there. But when Orquídea undergoes an inexplicable transformation before their very eyes, they can no longer deny that magic runs through the Montoya veins. If only Orquídea could have given them some answers and explanations before she left them alone to sort out her legacy. Marimar, one of Orquídea’s granddaughters, is particularly determined to find some answers—not only to broader questions about the family magic and possible family curse, but also to more personal questions about her father’s identity and her mother’s mysterious death. It seems that in order to answer any of these questions, Marimar and her cousins will need to dig into Orquídea’s mysterious past, starting by visiting her homeland in Guayaquil, Ecuador. As the dark secrets from Orquídea’s old life resurface, Marimar and her cousins realize that they never really knew their grandmother. Will they even be able to handle the answers that Orquídea tried to shelter them from?

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina employs a very Gothic conception of inheritance. On the surface level, inheritance can involve the (often contested) ownership of a physical estate—as we see in Gothic novels from The Castle of Otranto to The House of the Seven Gables. This question arises fairly early in the novel, as several of Orquídea’s descendants take her invitation literally and return to Four Rivers expecting to receive some material inheritance like the home in the valley. But in this novel, as in most Gothic works, the true inheritance is a less tangible legacy than a house or a plot of land. It is the family curse, the sins and mistakes of your forebears, the inherited traits that make it seem as if an ancestor lives again in you. As the title suggests, all of these are at the center of The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina. Orquídea’s story does not end when someone inherits her house. Instead, this moment prompts her descendants to uncover what else they have inherited from her. The Montoyas find themselves pursued by Orquídea’s demons that she protected them from for so long. In order to be free, they must right the wrongs of Orquídea’s past. And in order to understand the new, strange magic they find growing in themselves, the family will need to get back in touch with their roots.

Another Gothic story element that this book plays around with is bargains. Orquídea doesn’t quite make a Faustian bargain (trading one’s soul to the devil for power or immortality), but she does make questionable deals with two different supernatural beings. One bargain works out fairly well for her, but the other one is the source of much of her family’s misfortunes. As readers of this genre will know, bargaining with supernatural beings is a dangerous game, and you often wind up paying a higher price than you intend too—especially if you aim too high or fail to fulfill your end of the deal. Even after Orquídea is gone, her descendants continue to suffer the ramifications of her bargain.

Interested in reading The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina for yourselves? You can find it on shelves now at your favorite local retailer. Or order it online and support The Gothic Library in the process using this Bookshop.org affiliate link. Once you’ve read it, be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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It’s #nationalhispanicheritagemonth and it was the perfect time to dive into a book that celebrates that diverse culture.  You know I love books about family and in this novel, the Montoyas brought me so much joy.  This one’s pure magic and I absolutely adored this novel.
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The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina was a magical realism masterpiece I did not know I need it. I freaking loved this book. The magic of wishes, the complex family dynamics, the generational trauma, AND THE SILENCE so many Latinx families carry, a woman who isn’t afraid to claim what belongs to her, the beautifully done magical realism, and so many other aspects made me love it and get lost in it.
The premise of the book revolves around the upcoming funeral of Orquídea Divina, the mysterious matriarch of the Montoya clan. From the very beginning I was intrigued with her and all of her secrets, but also the magic she possessed. It was raw and powerful, and from the first pages, I knew she was capable of much. As the story progressed and the Montoyas arrived at Four Rivers to collect their inheritance, I couldn’t help myself but think back to a painting done by Francisco Oller, one of Puerto Rico’s most important painters, titled ‘El Velorio’ (The Funeral in English). In this art piece, a whole family and community reunites to celebrate the life and death of an infant, and seeing the dynamics between the Montoyas during this part of the book reminded me of it.
The writing was truly magical, the world vivid and the characters extraordinary. I found myself not being able to put down the book because with every page you needed to know more of Orquídea and her past and see the culmination of the mystery that haunted Marimar, Rey, Tatinelly, and Rhiannon.
As if it isn’t obvious yet, I especially loved Orquídea Divina and Marimar, two strong and determined Montoyas who would break the earth in half to keep their family safe. I feel that their journeys mirrored each other in some ways while they took their own ways at the same time.
Definitely one of my favorites of this year and probably one of my new all-time favorites. Orquídea Divina Montoya will probably live in my mind rent-free from now on.
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I don’t think I could describe the plot of this book well even if I wanted to but here goes nothing. The Montoya’s lives turn upside down when they are invited to their grandma, Orquídea’s, funeral to collect their inheritance by the currently very much alive grandma. All their lives things have happened to them that were left unexplained and before her “passing” they learned she was leaving with many secrets and questions left unanswered. Seven years later their gifts have manifested to each family member as various blessings. A mysterious shadow enters their lives killing off family members which forces the surviving members to go and seek out the truth and uncover the secrets and answers their grandmother left them to find. Will they survive and will they ever uncover the real story?  

It was hauntingly beautiful and also one of the few books I’ve read from the magical realism genre. The writing was so descriptive and made even the grotesque or "horror" bits sound beautiful even if what was described wasn't. Its listed at a Horror, but I don’t think it really was and thats coming from a scaredy-cat. 

I really love how unique this story was and its a true testament on how family can give you strength and how your past is sometimes so interwoven to your future. There was a lot of back and forth to the past and present passages in this book, which I thought would interrupt the flow of reading , but it was the perfect union of voices. I highly recommend this book if you want a Halloween read that isn’t scary and gives you a little bit of escapism.
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Many years ago I read Isabel Allende's masterpiece The House of the Spirits and was introduced to magical realism. I was enchanted, and Zoraida Córdova's adult debut, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina, hit me in all the same places. Orquídea has gone from the unlucky daughter of an unwed mother in Ecuador to the formidable matriarch of the Montoya family. Though she never leaves her home in Four Rivers, her children and grandchildren have gone out into the world, only to be called home by a mystical summons when Orquídea announces that she is dying and they are to come collect their inheritance. Her eldest granddaughter Marimar, grandson Rey, and their newly-married cousin Tatinelly seek to uncover their mysterious grandmother's secrets and learn to manage their own magic-- before it is too late. This is a tender and powerful story about family legacy, curses, and the healing powers of truth and love, and I devoured it in a weekend. I'd recommend it for anyone who enjoys fantastical family stories like Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen and for any readers looking for something different from what they normally read-- because whatever that is, you're going to find it here.
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One of the best books I've read this year. An amazing magical realism story set in America. The switching between timelines is interesting, but I wish they had spent more time at the circus since it reminded me of all the things I liked about The Night Circus.
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Such a wonderful, lovely, lush book.  Intensely atmospheric, particularly the chapters in Ecuador.  Magical realism is such a fantastic vehicle for Cordova's thoughts about education in the US, its accessibility, and its function as a white institution for people of color, and the way colonizer culture writes off the traditional experiences (particularly craft/art and health) of people of color writ large.

I think this book would have benefitted from a little more sense of timelessness, or of being set in a place without time.  There's no dates ever given, but there are references to texting alongside using a personal CD player, and while I know those things coexisted, any reference to trying to set a time period was kind of jarring.

I loved this book.  It's a great book for transitioning in or out of summer -- things growing, things dying, things transmuting.  I'll be recommending it to readers who already love magical realism and to people who like the fabulism of Roselle Lim or Emily Henry's YA works.
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First I would like to say I loved this book. There was magic, family, and history, but most importantly there was love. How one feels not to be loved enough will drive them to make a choice that will change the life of Orquídea forever. I found myself reading it as soon as I would wake up, because I was that eager to see what would happen next. I also found myself reading while I was eating dinner. This book is just that divine!

This book is beautifully written between at least the main 4 points of views. One being Orquídea herself giving more of the historical POV. The other 3 are her grandchildern, Marimar, Reymundo, and Tatinalley, their POV in the present and learning of Orquídea's past to answer their questions.

I loved when the family received their inheritance, which is nothing what they thought it was going to be and how each one figured it out. Some were positive and some not so much. I enjoyed seeing Marimar grow and learn about herself, but I loved Orquídea's young great-grandaughter, Rhiannon, the most. She was sweet but fearless.

Thank you to Atria Books and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!
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I've heard so many good things about this book, so I was excited to read it. The writing is beautiful, and it was a deeper storyline than I'd expected. I did feel a bit more detached from the characters than I'm used to, but this was still an enjoyable story. The cover seems YA, but that doesn't seem to be the targeted audience. Things unfolded at a slower pace than anticipated. Fans of fantasy stories will likely want to add this to their TBR piles.
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This is making into my all-time favorites for sure. If “The Night Circus” and “Wild Beauty” had a love child, it would be this book. A gorgeous piece of writing that I will absolutely be re-reading and recommending.
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I have a hard time with magic realism and family saga usually but somehow I got super excited about this book. It’s the first book by this author that I read and I’m intrigued to discover more.
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I’ve been able to finish The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova, and absolutely loved it! The pacing can be a little slow in the beginning, but it picks up quickly. The whole novel is full of magic, love, family, and adventure. Seeing life through the world of the Montoyas as they fall apart but come back together shows how strong a bond family can be and how magical it is. All of the characters have unique but complementary experiences, and the seven-year time jump was interesting to witness for each. The grand matriarch Orquídea had such a fascinating life full of wonder and curses in her youth. It’s definitely a new favorite Latinx novel by one of my long-time favorite Latina authors!
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I was totally enamored by this story of magic and family. It is the adult debut from Zoraida Cordova Atria better known for her Brooklyn Brujas YA series. Orquidea Montoya, the matriarch of a family in midwestern US, is sending out invitations to her children and grandchildren to come to her funeral. She gives a very specific time to arrive. There’s no question that that she has magical powers. Once her family arrives, she tells them to protect their magic. But after her change into a kapok tree and family members leave, two of her children die unexpectedly. Alternating chapters tell of what happening now and gives insight into how Orquidea got her magic. Its not until three of her grandchildren return to her place of birth in Guayaquil, Ecuador, that they discover the pact she made for this power. This is magical realism at its best.
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This is such a lovely story of learning who you are and where you came in. It's fully steeped in magical realism, plus just plain magic. The intergenerational story unfolds along two timelines, with parts of the story being revealed in each. Orquidea Divina is the grandmother in one, and the other is her early life's story. 

It's beautifully written and fully of imagery that's sure to stick with you. Many parts of the story are disturbing, but I'm left with a peaceful feeling after reading it. And also a desire to go and read more from this author. 

I moved slowly through the first half of the book, where the seeds are planted, but more quickly through the second half, where they come to fruition, so to speak. I just wanted to find out where this all was going.  

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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This is my new favorite book of Zoraida Córdova’s, it’s everything I feel like she has been waiting to share with the world! 

The magical realism elements here were fantastic, it’s such a gift when magical realism is added and the author did such a phenomenal job! This book is the kind of book that I think should be required reading because it’s just that good. It should be studied and taught in classrooms, a true classic masterpiece for years to come! 

The drama of it all had me sitting down to read this and not stopping until it was over!  I could easily see this being adapted for
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Wonderful book! From the magical realism to the cozy atmosphere and unique characters, this book truly is one of the most original on my shelf. Loved it. I purchased a physical copy.
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THE INHERITANCE OF ORQUIDEA DIVINA is an incredible accomplishment that Zoraida Cordova should absolutely be proud of. A story about the relationships between family and the sometimes complicated legacy that are left behind when a loved one passes on. I really enjoyed seeing Orquidea's family together on the page and their interactions and their complex dynamics with one another as they travel to Four Rivers to receive an inheritance, but they get a lot more than they bargain for as Orquidea's secrets from her past catch up with them. I loved so much about this book. Cordova's writing style is absolutely gorgeous in this one, one that utilizes magical realism to create a story that feels like a dream. It's truly enchanting. This book is not one of those fast-movers, but I thought the slower pacing felt more natural as we alternate between Marimar's present and Orquidea's past, and I thought that that choice paid off, but not all will agree. What makes this book special is the magic in its pages, and the literary importance of Cordova's voice. This book is weird, quirky, dreamy and romantic and is one of the most unique stories I have ever read. A story of complex family secrets, THE INHERITANCE OF ORQUIDEA DIVINA is a story about how far one would go to protect the future, even if that means digging into the past.
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This novel is incredible. It alternates between telling the story of Orquidea's past: how she got her magical gifts and made it to her home if Four Rivers, and the story of her three descendants who inherit her magic. It's sometimes hard to keep up with changing timelines in a novel, but I couldn't put this down. I was always excited to see where the story was going and what Orquidea's secrets were.
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