The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

Atria. Sept. 2021. 336p. Tr $27. ISBN 9781982102548.
One day a house occupied by Orquídea Divina suddenly appears near the town of Four Rivers. Her arrival leads the townspeople to believe she is a witch. Orquídea survives multiple husbands, raises nine children, helps care for some of her grandchildren, but never leaves town. One day, she sends invitations summoning her offspring home for her death. Only Orquíeda doesn’t die but instead transforms to the shock of her family, and leaves her granddaughter Marimar the property in Four Rivers. The narrative moves back and forth between Orquídea’s childhood in Ecuador, her travels, and the bargain she made for magic, with that of her granddaughter Marirmar as she works to create a new life for herself restoring the family home. A mysterious figure stalks family members and a series of sudden deaths has Marimar, with her cousins Rey and Tatinelly, traveling to Ecuador to unravel Orquídea’s past in a race to save the rest of the family. A tale of love, magic, adventure, and the general messiness of families with secrets written with descriptive prose evoking places and emotions vividly.
VERDICT An absorbing read, full of lush writing and magical realism, this book will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman and Isabella Allende. A great first purchase.

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