Book Review

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

  • Author: Zoraida Córdova
  • Genre: YA Fantasy, Magical Realism
  • Publication Date: September 7, 2021
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books

Thank you to libro.fm for providing me with an ALC of this audiobook. I am offering my honest opinion voluntarily. If you’d like to buy a copy of this audiobook while supporting indie bookstores, you can do so here.

CONTENT WARNING: death of a parent, death, death of a child

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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.

Whoa. After finishing this audiobook, I seriously had to sit for a while and just process. It’s such an amazing story, and I loved every part of it. For so many years, I thought that I just didn’t like magical realism, but I’m coming to realize that maybe I just don’t like the ones I had tried to start out with (side eyes Gabriel García Márquez). Because I’ve been reading some truly awesome magical realism, and this one topped the list. And the audio version of this story, narrated by Frankie Corzo, was absolutely beautiful. 

This book tells one overarching story in two distinct storylines — that of the family in present-day, and Orquídea Divina’s story in the past, but both come together to make a coherent picture. I had no trouble differentiating between the storylines when it jumped from present to past, and between characters, and they all had such different voices that it was easy to keep everything straight. 

Initially, I wanted not to like Orquídea Divina, but once I got a taste of her first chapter, it was hard to stand firm. She’s a likable character, but circumstances are against her and make her into a vastly different individual. Nearly all of her offspring are also likable as well, and it was so simple to lose myself in the difficult dynamics of this troubled family. Each member has their own issues that they struggle with, although the overarching theme is that they all care deeply about the family and learning more about Orquídea and learning more about the threat their family is facing, in order to protect themselves. 

I got absorbed into the story early on, and got pulled deeper in the longer I listened. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, and found myself listening way later than I had planned. But when I woke up, the first thing I did was start listening again. It was like I was hooked on the story, and it was so enchanting. This is a creative masterpiece that I can already see myself listening to again and again. It’s a story about family, learning about your past and how it influences your present, and how far you’re willing to go to claim a power that’s been dormant inside you.

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