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The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina - Review

*I received the physical and E-Arc from Atria Books via publishers and Net Galley. All reviews are my own.*

By now, you should have heard about the mysterious Orquidea Divina and the Montoya family. Her family is all the rage over Bookstagram and in Times Square. Coming in hot as one of my anticipated reads in 2021, The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina by Zoraida Cordova leaves me with a family legacy, the path to building solid foundations, and of course, breaking generational curses.

"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."

Now, why did it take me this long to write a review? I’m not sure. I liked the story, but it was also something I didn’t expect. The synopsis left a tremendous amount of space to wander off and fill in the blanks about the story. While reading, I didn’t know if I would go on a journey of finding the route of the family curse or a history of how Orquidea became Orquidea. I even thought I was going to see magical possessions travel down the family tree. In a way, Cordova did explain all of these mini-plots, but it didn’t turn out as fulfilling as I liked it to be. So what happened?

I did like finding how and why Orquidea turned out the way she did. When I see people ask elders if they would do it all over again if they could, I think Orquidea would be the poster child for that answer. She lived a hell of a life, even though she was plagued with fear a regret. I think her previous decisions led her to be this solid matriarchal tree that she is now.

I would have loved to know more about the focal generation of Montoyas: Marimar and Rey. They and Orquidea were the real stars of the novel. I know Cordova wanted to add a huge family dynamic in the book, but so many names that had nothing to do with the story took away from the wonder. I didn’t need to know about Tatinelly’s POV, but I would have loved to learn more about Enrique’s (Orquidea’s son) relationship with his mother. Why was he so angry? I would think he would have more of a story than most of the family members.

I initially rated this book 4-stars, but after a few weeks of pondering and trying to put pen to pad, I think 3.5-star is a better fit. I really did enjoy the story; it just didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. We all can relate to the family dynamics, and there’s always that one older person who holds secrets until the end of time. I’m just glad I got to experience this with the Montoyas because I would never get that kind of satisfaction with my family in real life.

The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina is available now.

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