On the Shelf: Author brings Ecuador past to New Mexico through her novels

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Lorena Hughes is bringing pieces of Ecuador to New Mexico through her books. Originally hailing from Ecuador, the author has been calling the Land of Enchantment her home for over 20 years now.


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Hughes said that while she found herself writing historical fiction, history was not something she enjoyed learning about in school. It wasn’t until she learned about the origin of Ecuador’s chocolate industry and she began researching its history, that she began enjoying learning its past.

Her previous book also took place in Ecuador in the 60s. Her most recent book, The Spanish Daughter which will be released in December, takes place in the 1920s. The story follows a chocolatier who goes on an adventure from Spain to Ecuador to learn to uncover the secrets surrounding her family.

She said she believes New Mexican readers will particularly enjoy her books because there are some overlaps between the Hispanic cultures. “There’s a lot of things in common, there’s religion, there’s the language since Spanish spoken a lot here,” Hughes said. “A character in book even loves to dance flamenco, and I know that’s really big here too. If local readers want to learn about something different but still familiar, I think they’ll like my book.”

Hughes said she loves getting the chance to share her culture with those who might not be familiar with it. “I love doing that because I think there’s not a whole lot of stories told in Ecuador and that’s what I enjoy when I read. I like to hear about the food they eat, and what is different. I want to introduce my reader to a different world, not just historically different but culturally different,” Hughes said.

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