The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina is a must read

I got to read the The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina just before latine heritage month end! And honestly it was the perfect book to finish out the month of celebration.

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina revolves around family and healing family trauma. And this novel’s also written in the style of magical realism.


Orquídea Montoya summons all her descendants to her house in Four Rivers. Her letter states I am dying to come collect your inheritance. When the Montoyas arrive, Orquídea’s sprouting vines and leaves. Orquídea warns her family that a great force will come for all of them, and they will have to pay her price for a mistake she made long ago. 

Orquídea’s letter is vague and frustrates her family, who all want to know what she will leave them. Marimar only wishes that Orquídea tell her about her father and the truth behind her mother’s death.  But her abuela evades her. 

And when Orquídea passes away, she leaves her grandchildren a little of their magic.

Years later, Marimar gathers her cousins Rey and Tatinelly together again because the Montoya’s are dying. Additionally, the cousins have all witnessed a mysterious man following them. Together they travel to Ecuador to uncover Orquídea’s secrets and the real inheritance she left them.

“All you have is each other. Protect your magic.”

Zoraida Córdova


Very immersive and addicting story. The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina is a story best enjoyed in one big reading binge. Because of the magical realism element to this story, characters and readers alike have to roll with the extraordinary elements in it.

Grandmother Orquídea is a bit estranged from her family. Her grandchildren and children have varying memories of her-how she’s she helped and harmed them. Marimar’s frustrated with Orquídea because she refused to answer her questions about her parents. But as the story progressed, it’s revealed that Orquídea could not reveal the truth to Marimar because of the deal she made with her father. 

What I really liked about this novel is all the POV changes it goes between to establish the characters and the story. First the story passes between the three cousins: Rey, Marimar, and Tatinelly. But then the POV changes to Orquídea and her life as a child all the way to her first marriage and her deal with the living star. 

“Orquídea’s favourite colour was the blue of twilight – just light enough that the sky no longer appeared black, but before pinks and purples bled into it. She thought that colour captured the moment the world held it’s breath, and she’d been holding hers for a long time.”

Zoraida Córdova

Orquídea’s Pov is fascinating because it reveals that her family bullied and neglected her. She already had a little magic that allowed her to make deals with sea monsters. But it’s because of her mother’s neglect and rejection that Orquídea chose to leave her family behind and join the circus. Which leads Orquídea to marry a handsome but unfaithful man, thus leading her to bargain with a celestial being and invoking the rage of her husband.

Because Orquídea’s creates her wish out of a moment of frustration and anger, who can blame her she’s not only a young mother but has had to endure her husband’s infidelity for years, she unknowingly loses her son and spurs her husband on a lifelong vengeance to find her once again.

Orquídea husband’s is driven by machismo and spite. He believes he has a claim on Orquídea because he wished her into his life, but then he doesn’t treat her right, and she leaves him. But then he makes it his lifelong mission to kill off her descendants until she returns to him. 

As I was saying, one of themes of this story is trauma and what I find fascinating about the inheritance of Orquídea Divina is that theme is in the title. Orquídea’s family inherited her pain and her trauma. Her magic originated from back a moment in her life where she was miserable. 

 You’ve never met your great-grandmother, but blood is like a tether, even when the tether is frayed. The connection is there, deep down, hasta la raíz.”

Zoraida Córdova

And while the cousins are in Ecuador, they summon their great mother’s ghost, and she acknowledges how she failed Orquidea before giving her descendants her bones to protect them.

I love that this theme comes full circle in this novel. And I loved that it’s the next generation that breaks the cycle of trauma.

I believe this book is a love letter to children and grandchildren of immigrants. Because ultimately, they are the ones who will break cycles of trauma that they’ve inherited from their own family. 

This novel did remind me of Isabel Allende’s the house of spirits but what I loved about this novel was that Orquieda’s first husband faded into obscurity as he should. If you have not read my review for The House of Spirits, just know I wanted to throw down with Esteban because I hated him so much.

I recommend The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina as your next read. But I recommend picking up any of Zoraida Cordova’s novels because they are also great!

until next time I’ll be living in libros,


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