cover image The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

Zoraida Córdova. Atria, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-1-982102-54-8

This radiant adult debut from Córdova (the Brooklyn Brujas YA series) follows the troubled Montoya family in the magical Midwestern town of Four Rivers. As the book opens, matriarch Orquídea Divina has just sent out wax-sealed, bird-delivered notices for her own funeral, inviting her children and grandchildren to “come and collect your inheritance.” Cousins Rey and Marimar set off from New York City; their cousin, the heavily pregnant Tatinelly, heeds the call from Olympia, Ore. With her family gathered around her, Orquídea enters a kind of magical earthly limbo and exhorts her progeny to “protect your magic.” Her warning remains mysterious until seven years later, when the Montoyas are pursued by a malevolent man who visits death and destruction on their extended family. To save themselves, Rey, Marimar, Tatinelly, and Tatinelly’s magically gifted seven-year-old, Rhiannon, trace Orquídea’s roots to Guayaquil, Ecuador, where she was born. While there’s not much momentum in the first act, this family saga acquires a thrillerlike tempo as the Montoyas draw closer to the mystery at the heart of Orquídea’s curse. The magic is vivid and yet familiar, and adds to the urgency of the plot. It adds up to an inspired and entertaining blend of magical realism and fantasy. (Sept.)