Title Mexican Gothic
Author Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Description from Amazon
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
Release Date June 30, 2020
I will be totally honest, I was afraid to read this book. I thought it was going to scare me too much but a friend read it and said I’d probably be ok. Honestly, I think she was just trying to get me to read it 😂
Some Things I Liked
- 1950s Mexico City. I loved the setting. I haven’t read much set in the 50s and the only other book I’ve read that was set in Mexico is Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I loved the opening scene in this novel and it really set the stage of what a socialite of the time looked like.
- American Horror Story Hotel and Downton Abbey vibes. If those two shows did a mashup, that would be this book. I loved that High Place had a character of its own and that the reverence and respect for the building was so significant. Similarly, some of the scenes with the hallucinations that Noemi had were so AHS.
- Noemi as an unreliable narrator. She didn’t know what was happening to her or what she was seeing. Furthermore, the reader couldn’t know what was real and what wasn’t either. I loved the suspense that the narration built.
- Lyrical and eerie writing. Despite being scary and at some moment, disturbing, I can’t deny that the language and storytelling in this novel are nothing short of magnificent. Silvia Moreno-Garcia painted a dark and mysterious picture with her words that will not soon be forgotten.
One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About
- There was a significant plot point that I didn’t care for. I can’t say what it is to avoid spoilers but in general, I found it to be quite icky, for lack of a better word, and I failed to see how it advanced the plot in any way. I think that detail about the Doyle family could have been left out and the story would have been just as spooky and not nearly as gross.
I think this book is best left as a standalone. The somewhat open-ended nature of the conclusion lends itself to more spookiness and suspense and could be diminished by a second book. Furthermore, I don’t think there is much else to do with this story.
This book was definitely creepy and spooky. It’s perfect for an October read and it really piqued my interest in the 1950s as a historical time period. I want to read more about this setting.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – if you’re looking for another beautifully written historical fantasy about Mexico, try Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s other novel.
- A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth – if you enjoyed the personification of a house with spooky, but not too spooky vibes, try this standalone.