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The Spanish Daughter
Cover of The Spanish Daughter
The Spanish Daughter
A Gripping Historical Novel Perfect for Book Clubs
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"An engrossing, suspenseful family saga filled with unpredictable twists and turns." —Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of Next Year in Havana
"With an equal mix of historical fiction, dramatic family conflict, and mystery, this tale should please fans of Christina Baker Kline, Lisa Wingate, and Kate Quinn." —Booklist
The Washington Post Books to Read Now | Ms. Magazine Reads for the Rest of Us | Bustle Most Anticipated Books | PopSugar Best Books | BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Books | Book Riot Book Recommendations | Finer Things Book Lover Gifts They'll Actually Love


Perfect for fans of Julia Alvarez and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, this exhilarating novel transports you to the lush tropical landscape of 1920s Ecuador, blending family drama, dangerous mystery, and the real-life history of the coastal town known as the "birthplace of cacao."
As a child in Spain, Puri always knew her passion for chocolate was inherited from her father. But it's not until his death that she learns of something else she's inherited—a cocoa estate in Vinces, Ecuador, a town nicknamed "París Chiquito." Eager to claim her birthright and filled with hope for a new life after the devastation of World War I, she and her husband Cristóbal set out across the Atlantic Ocean. But it soon becomes clear someone is angered by Puri's claim to the estate...

When a mercenary sent to murder her aboard the ship accidentally kills Cristóbal instead, Puri dons her husband's clothes and assumes his identity, hoping to stay safe while she searches for the truth of her father's legacy in Ecuador. Though freed from the rules that women are expected to follow, Puri confronts other challenges at the estate—newfound siblings, hidden affairs, and her father's dark secrets. Then there are the dangers awakened by her attraction to an enigmatic man as she tries to learn the identity of an enemy who is still at large, threatening the future she is determined to claim...
"A lush Ecuadoran cacao plantation is the setting for this imaginative historical drama filled with sibling rivalry and betrayals. Threaded throughout this dramatic family saga are descriptions of cocoa-making that will leave your mouth watering for chocolate."
The Washington Post
"A sweepingly elegant historical novel." —Ms. Magazine


"A lushly written story of bittersweet family secrets and betrayals." —Andrea Penrose, author of Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens
"Passionate and suspenseful, The Spanish Daughter is a satisfying historical mystery set in a lush tropical land." —Foreword Reviews STARRED REVIEW
"Engrossing...As addictive as chocolate." —Publishers Weekly
"Richly captivating." —Woman's World
"A fascinating historical."—PopSugar
"An engrossing, suspenseful family saga filled with unpredictable twists and turns." —Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of Next Year in Havana
"With an equal mix of historical fiction, dramatic family conflict, and mystery, this tale should please fans of Christina Baker Kline, Lisa Wingate, and Kate Quinn." —Booklist
The Washington Post Books to Read Now | Ms. Magazine Reads for the Rest of Us | Bustle Most Anticipated Books | PopSugar Best Books | BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Books | Book Riot Book Recommendations | Finer Things Book Lover Gifts They'll Actually Love


Perfect for fans of Julia Alvarez and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, this exhilarating novel transports you to the lush tropical landscape of 1920s Ecuador, blending family drama, dangerous mystery, and the real-life history of the coastal town known as the "birthplace of cacao."
As a child in Spain, Puri always knew her passion for chocolate was inherited from her father. But it's not until his death that she learns of something else she's inherited—a cocoa estate in Vinces, Ecuador, a town nicknamed "París Chiquito." Eager to claim her birthright and filled with hope for a new life after the devastation of World War I, she and her husband Cristóbal set out across the Atlantic Ocean. But it soon becomes clear someone is angered by Puri's claim to the estate...

When a mercenary sent to murder her aboard the ship accidentally kills Cristóbal instead, Puri dons her husband's clothes and assumes his identity, hoping to stay safe while she searches for the truth of her father's legacy in Ecuador. Though freed from the rules that women are expected to follow, Puri confronts other challenges at the estate—newfound siblings, hidden affairs, and her father's dark secrets. Then there are the dangers awakened by her attraction to an enigmatic man as she tries to learn the identity of an enemy who is still at large, threatening the future she is determined to claim...
"A lush Ecuadoran cacao plantation is the setting for this imaginative historical drama filled with sibling rivalry and betrayals. Threaded throughout this dramatic family saga are descriptions of cocoa-making that will leave your mouth watering for chocolate."
The Washington Post
"A sweepingly elegant historical novel." —Ms. Magazine


"A lushly written story of bittersweet family secrets and betrayals." —Andrea Penrose, author of Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens
"Passionate and suspenseful, The Spanish Daughter is a satisfying historical mystery set in a lush tropical land." —Foreword Reviews STARRED REVIEW
"Engrossing...As addictive as chocolate." —Publishers Weekly
"Richly captivating." —Woman's World
"A fascinating historical."—PopSugar
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About the Author-
  • Lorena Hughes is the award-winning author of The Spanish Daughter and The Sisters of Alameda Street. Born and raised in Ecuador, she moved to the United States when she was eighteen. Her previous work has won first place at the 2011 Southwest Writers International Contest in the historical fiction category, earned an honorable mention at the 2012 Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, and placed quarter-finalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakout Novel Award. Named one of 9 Rising Latina Authors You Don't Want to Miss by HIP LATINA, she's the coordinator of the UNM Writers Conference. Lorena lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and can be found online at Lorena-Hughes.com.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 22, 2021
    Hughes follows The Sisters of Alameda Street with an engrossing mystery/romance set in early 20th-century Ecuador and Spain. In 1920, Spanish chocolate shop proprietor María Purificación “Puri” de Lafont y Toledo learns that her father, who left when she was two, has willed his cacao plantation in Ecuador to her and, to her surprise, to children from his secret other marriage. As Puri and her husband, Cristóbal, sail to Ecuador to claim her inheritance, a stranger attempts to strangle her on the ship, and in the struggle both the assailant and Puri’s mortally wounded husband fall overboard. For her protection, Puri dons a beard and disguises herself as Cristóbal. Legalities buy Puri time to investigate who killed her husband and targeted her. Fans of historicals will appreciate the descriptions of dress, local foods and customs, social stratification, and the cacao industry, a source of an economic boom and bust in early 20th-century Ecuador. In the end, Puri predictably finds romance (as a woman, with a man) and prosperity, but Hughes shakes up the formula by showing how Puri wins out by adopting Cristóbal’s assertive traits, which help her as she figures out what to do with the plantation and navigates the business world. As addictive as chocolate, this ends on a modern and satisfying note. Agent: Rachel Brooks, BookEnds Literary Agency.

  • Booklist

    December 15, 2021
    In April 1920, Mar�a Purificaci�n de Lafont y Toledo, nicknamed Puri, and her husband, Crist�bal de Balboa, leave her hometown in Spain for Vinces, Ecuador. They are heading to her recently deceased father's cacao plantation to hear the reading of his will with her three illegitimate half-siblings. But Cristobal is killed defending Puri from a murder attempt, and now, to protect herself, she decides to assume her husband's identity as she tries to figure out this new landscape filled with people who could friends, enemies, or both. Hughes portrays a small cast of characters while providing whodunit suspense and lots of background information on cacao plantations and insights into the way social classes are embodied in the production of chocolate. With an equal mix of historical fiction, dramatic family conflict, and mystery, this tale should please fans of Christina Baker Kline, Lisa Wingate, and Kate Quinn. Beginning with a map and ending with a reader's group guide, Hughes' tale of secrets, treachery, and chocolate will be appreciated by fiction readers looking for an extra level of engagement.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Kensington Books
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The Spanish Daughter
The Spanish Daughter
A Gripping Historical Novel Perfect for Book Clubs
Lorena Hughes
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