You know that beloved Disney movie about the family with the grandmother that (let’s be clear) runs the show, leading her family to their beloved home that protects them and provides anything they could possibly need?
What’s it called?
Oh, yeah. Encanto.
We love Encanto around here.
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is Encanto for adults. Scattered across the country, Orquídea’s grandchildren all receive mysterious invitations to Orquídea’s funeral in Four Rivers, Texas—but Orquídea is the sender, and still very much alive. The kids all return to Orquídea’s home—their home—and are instantly enveloped in the home’s magic again. There is always plenty of food without need of a grocery store, the land is fertile and beautiful despite the surrounding town being barren for miles, and Orquídea is...well, Orquídea is Orquídea.
Our beloved Madrigals from Encanto are Colombian, and the Montoyas of The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina are Ecuadorian Americans. Learning about the Ecuadorian culture (Zoraida Córdova was born in Guayaquil!) was a fascinating journey that I miss already, even though I quite literally just put the book down and immediately started this blog.
I won’t spoil the story for you, but Orquídea’s roller coaster life prior to settling in Four Rivers could jeopardize everything and everyone. The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is at times dark and unexpected, but also oddly familiar in the very relatable Montoyas’ family dynamic. (We all have that uncle that is a jerk, and that cousin that doubles as your best friend.) They love each other fiercely, even though they (often) want to strangle each other, which made me feel right at home!
One line made me actually laugh out loud: “we’re millennials. We’re desensitized and have no shame.” FACTS, Rey. FACTS.
In all seriousness, Zoraida Córdova expertly crafted this tale of magic, family, secrets, and Guayaquil and I can’t wait to read more of her works.
“You have to focus all of your energy on that connection every family has. It’s in our bones, our blood. More than that, it’s in the questions we need answered. The secrets, the traumas, and legacies we don’t know we’ve inherited, even if we don’t want them.”