Mexican Gothic ♦ Silvia Moreno-Garcia | Review
Mexican Gothic had already fascinated me with the mysterious but beautiful cover. The blurb also impressed me. But what happened next, I wasn’t prepared for. Despite how exciting it seems, this story is lacking depth. The charm, or challenge, depending on how you look at it, of this weird yet engaging story is found in the final third of the narrative.
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books, published on 30. Jun 2020
Genre: Adult, Fiction, Gothic, Horror, Mystery
Purchased at: Amazon
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An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets.
After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed 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.
Mexican Gothic ♦ Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Noemí Taboada, a young, wealthy, and wild party girl in the 1950s in Mexico, travels to isolated High Place, a very old estate that has been contaminated with the decay of dead and mold all over the place of the mansion. A strange letter from her ailing cousin, Catalina, in which she is pleading for rescue from High Place and an unidentified oppressor, is the reason for Noemí’s trip.
When Noemí arrives at the spooky place with its creepy residents, very quickly she realizes that something is seriously wrong. She experiences dreams, delusions, and voices Francis Doyle, a weak young man intimidated by his powerful elders is the only Doyle family member, Catalina married into, that Noemí can possibly trust. The story is pretty disgusting when I realized what is happening. As much as I enjoyed the haunting story and the exposure of all the physical horrors and sacrifices, I had to get used to this narrative. This book is for people who like light horror and some creepy stuff. I have no regrets reading this book, but it was definitely not what I expected.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a truly talented writer. Her emotional style of writing quickly captivates her readers. The final third of the book was wonderful despite being weird, whereas the first two thirds were a touch dull and slow-paced. It got off to a great start. I loved the ominous mood and the spooky relatives. Some of them I wanted to slap into reality. The storytelling got somewhat unreliable, that at some point I couldn’t really follow it no more and I got confused quickly. The part of the family patriarch’s old and mysterious secret took an immense toll on my imagination. Everything turned out to be absurd and strange.
Even though it was a peculiar read I’m pleased I read Mexican Gothic because now I finally understand the commotion about it. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a talented writer with a distinctive style of expression, which I already experience in her book The Beautiful Ones. I’ll attempt reading the German edition of this book once more, although my first read left a strange feeling, which I couldn’t shake off yet. Sometimes a translation can carry a complete different feeling.
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