Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
June 30, 2020
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 Noemí’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.
The minute I heard about this novel, I knew I needed to read it. And I am so glad I did.
I love gothic novels and they don’t get made much anymore, so I was really excited about this read. This novel has all your major gothic tropes and perfectly blends horror with romance. You have a secluded location, insanity, eroticism, nightmares, and more. The horror level on this book wasn’t very high and the gore was also minimal. There are definitely spooky moments, but I feel that a lot of the tension is more psychological. You were really trying to figure out what was going on and who this family was.
Pretty early on, I thought that I had this book pegged. I was convinced that I knew the twist. And I was half right. But the rest of it blew my mind. Looking back I see things that I missed and I appreciated that the author gave hints without completely spoiling the surprise. The pacing was steady and I didn’t feel that there were lulls. The scenery of this story was very descriptive and the house became just as interesting as the characters.
Overall, I thought this was fantastic. It is a conversation starter and felt fresh and new. I kept giving my family updates as I read it and have recommended it to a ton of people. So now, I am recommending it to you.
Trigger Warnings: Hallucinations, Racism, Incest, Sexual Assault/Attempted Rape, Violence, Murder