If you’re looking for a magical realism story that blends an Ecuadorian version of Encanto with certain aspects of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, then this is the book for you!
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is a family saga. It has two separate timelines. One timeline follows Orquídea, the grandmother and matriarch of the Montoya family, who immigrated to the United States. The other follows her grandchildren, specifically Marimar, Rey, and Tatinelly.
The first half is very slow moving, taking its time to introduce the setting, a small town called Four Rivers, and its characters. Córdova’s writing is beautiful and lush, and strange at times. Her voice is perfect for magical realism.
At its core, despite being a family saga, this book is a mystery. What happened to Orquídea when she was younger that made her so mysterious? Where did her magic come from?
This is not a book to be binged. It’s a book to take in slowly. You have to take time to take everything in and appreciate the weird magical moments, like magical flowers growing from bodies, ghosts, a river monster, and an old zombie rooster named Gabo that keeps coming back to life.
My main critique is that while I like slow-moving stories, it took me a while to get invested in the characters, and there was also a character death towards the end that I think could’ve been handled better.
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is both hilarious and tragic, and I especially enjoyed getting to know Marimar and Rey. If you like family sagas and magical realism, then I think you’ll like this one.
VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 /5