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Mexican Gothic

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Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Published: June 30th 2020 by Del Rey

Format: Hardcover , 301 pages

Isbn: 9780525620785

Language: English


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico. “It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn s NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico. “It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn start Mexican Gothic gets seriously weird” (The Guardian). 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. “It’s as if a supernatural power compels us to turn the pages of the gripping Mexican Gothic.”—The Washington Post

30 review for Mexican Gothic

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    OMG! I had no brain right now! The author stole it! I wish she would have put some bravery into my heart because I think I’m not gonna sleep at least for a week and I already brought back Christmas ornaments and enlightened house (I don’t have any idea how much electric bill will coast next month but I’m sure my husband will have the worst scream crying experience of his lifetime.) This book is insanely terrifying, spin-tingling, horrifying, mind blowing, eyes popping, tear jerker (nope it’s not OMG! I had no brain right now! The author stole it! I wish she would have put some bravery into my heart because I think I’m not gonna sleep at least for a week and I already brought back Christmas ornaments and enlightened house (I don’t have any idea how much electric bill will coast next month but I’m sure my husband will have the worst scream crying experience of his lifetime.) This book is insanely terrifying, spin-tingling, horrifying, mind blowing, eyes popping, tear jerker (nope it’s not emotional, you cry like a baby because you realize you just pissed your pants when you were reading it and you’re dying from humiliation! I’ve been there!), paranoid, a dangerous dancing between Mexican folklore, horror stories and Darwin’s theory of natural selection. You want to throw the book and start running outside from your house. ( I took 5 tours around Sunset Boulevard at the rush hour and was saluted by angry drivers’ flipping birds but I didn’t care! Running gave me endorphin and adrenalin I needed.) Here is the eerie, ominous, petrifying plot of the book: Noemi is sent to High Place after her father gets an awkward and suspicious letter from her cousin Catalina, recently got married. The letter implied that she’s suffering from a mental illness or there’s something really wrong about her husband Virgil’s mansion. So Noemi goes there to check her cousin’s medical condition and learn the truth hid behind her letter. But as she takes a few steps to the house, she feels that something is really really wrong about the place : she’s introduced to Virgil’s family resembles us Manson Family meets Adam Family. Yes, they’re completely weird, living by strict rules, having marriages in family, covering the house’s walls with deceased brides. And there is a big tragedy still affects the soul of the house: a daughter kills her family members and commits suicide. So as a normal person, Noemi should cry for help and run as soon as she meets that eerie people, including control freak, demanding Florence, flirting and nasty Virgil, the maids who act like they swore to silence and don’t forget about Howard reminds us of long time zombie extra of Walking Dead ( I think he’s soul-mate of woman in bath in Shining!) And only normal person of the family is naïve, artistic, shy son of Florence: Francis who loves to talk about fungus. I’m not gonna give much spoiler but this riveting, heart shattering, blood freezing, scary book has so many alerting elements including ghosts, sleepwalking, violence, bloodshed, disgusting and extreme vulgarity. It’s so different from the first book of the author but if you ask my opinion that did I enjoy it? Of course I truly did! I tested my pain endurance levels. I screamed a lot and I was flabbergasted, speechless at some chapters. And ending, yes it’s volatile, blasting but also satisfying. This means… here comes another gazillion five stars. But quick note: when you’re reading this book, don’t try to eat your mushroom pizza as like I did. I don’t like to write what happened to me afterwards… This is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO twisted, unexpected, gory, exhilarating! I don’t know a sequel comes after that! But if author decides to write it, I’d be happily to consume it without thinking a second! Sooooo much special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing/Ballantine for sharing this fantastic ARC and making my wish come true in exchange my honest review. And I personally congratulate Silvia Moreno-Garcia for this heart throbbing, extra ordinary book. blog instagram facebook twitter

  2. 4 out of 5

    chai ♡

    A gothic suspense novel set in 1950s Mexico with a cover like that? [adding book to cart] Who am I to deny myself every single desire that crosses my brain?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "I pray I'll see you again. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me." WHEW. You think you know where this book is going, and then it goes there. Mexican Gothic begins in such an unassuming way, where you think you're walking into a traditional haunted house story, and then everything shifts to pull you under like a riptide that doesn't loosen until you turn the final page. Before I dive into my review, I think it's fair to note that the majority of this book is atmospheric, character dri "I pray I'll see you again. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me." WHEW. You think you know where this book is going, and then it goes there. Mexican Gothic begins in such an unassuming way, where you think you're walking into a traditional haunted house story, and then everything shifts to pull you under like a riptide that doesn't loosen until you turn the final page. Before I dive into my review, I think it's fair to note that the majority of this book is atmospheric, character driven, and the slowest burn imaginable; for me, this worked spectacularly well, as I love to feel completely absorbed into the narrative in horror novels. And yes friends, this is most definitely a horror novel. I'll include content warnings in a spoiler tag below for those who are interested. "Noemí's father said she cared too much about her looks and parties to take school seriously, as if a woman could not do two things at once." Maybe the reason why this slow burn worked so well for me is because I instantly connected with Noemí; she is confident, intelligent, and the life of the party. When her father receives a suspicious letter from Noemí's cousin, Catalina, he sends Noemí to investigate and report back. As expected, everyone involved gets more than they bargained for, and what begins as a handful of unusual occurrences slowly morphs into a whirlwind of horrifying circumstances. "This house, she was sure, was haunted. She wasn't one for believing in things that go bump in the night either, but right that second she firmly felt every spook and demon and evil thing might be crawling about the earth, like in Catalina's stories." One of the things I loved the most about this story is how vastly different the haunted house felt. The author has successfully blended the traditional aspects of the old, decrepit, ghost filled residence and a new, more modern aspect, one I won't go into detail of for fear of spoiling the big twist. I think she nailed it on the head when she stated in her Goodreads interview that this book is for the reader who is both classy and trashy, because it has the high entertainment value that fast fiction lovers rejoice in, but it is also filled with beautifully devastating prose. If you, too, have a love affair with all things that go bump in the night, Mexican Gothic should be your top priority this summer. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to those who have a desire to spend long hours in a derelict house and an iron stomach. "The truth was she was afraid of going to bed, of what nightmares might uncoil in the dark. What did people do after witnessing the horrors they had seen? Was it possible to slip back into normality, to play pretend and go on? She wanted to think this was exactly the case, but she was afraid sleep would prove her wrong." *Content Warning: (view spoiler)[Sexual assault, incest, murder and gore, cannibalism, themes challenging white supremacy and eugenics, discussions surrounding the death of a parent and other family members, miscarriages and stillbirths, discussions surrounding suicide, and the consumption of alcohol and smoking. (hide spoiler)] *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Silvia Moreno-Garcia

    FAQ Is there a playlist? Yes, go to Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/233... Are there other goodies? Paper doll PDF: http://www.randomhousebooks.com/wp-co... Book club kit PDF: http://www.randomhousebooks.com/wp-co... Is the town in the book real? It's inspired by a real town which is called Real del Monte/Mineral del Monte and which was a British mining town and has a very particular kind of architecture. It's nicknamed Little Cornwall. Yes, there is an English cemetery there. Photo: https: FAQ Is there a playlist? Yes, go to Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/233... Are there other goodies? Paper doll PDF: http://www.randomhousebooks.com/wp-co... Book club kit PDF: http://www.randomhousebooks.com/wp-co... Is the town in the book real? It's inspired by a real town which is called Real del Monte/Mineral del Monte and which was a British mining town and has a very particular kind of architecture. It's nicknamed Little Cornwall. Yes, there is an English cemetery there. Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/1331140... More info about the British in this region of Mexico: http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180... What state does this take place in? Hidalgo, which is known for its mountainous terrain. But I thought Mexico is dry and a desert? It has varied micro-climates and topography. Real del Monte tends to be colder, very wet during the rainy season and misty, as you can see in this picture: https://pixabay.com/photos/mist-hidal... Fashion-wise, what is Noemi wearing? Not a poodle skirt! Dior premiered his New Look in 1947, which featured a cinched waist, a very full skirt, and a nod to opulence. Hats would have been small in the early 1950s. Here's more on the 1950s and Dior: https://www.dw.com/en/the-new-look-ho...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a 2020 Del Rey publication. An exciting new approach to Gothic Horror fiction! I rarely ever comment on a book cover- but this one is stunning! It’s an eye-catcher for sure- but you know what they say about judging a book by its cover. So, the question is- Does the story measure up to that magnificent cover? Mexico City- 1950s Noemí Taboada, a young socialite, who wishes to achieve more in her life than marrying a man her father approves of, is given th Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a 2020 Del Rey publication. An exciting new approach to Gothic Horror fiction! I rarely ever comment on a book cover- but this one is stunning! It’s an eye-catcher for sure- but you know what they say about judging a book by its cover. So, the question is- Does the story measure up to that magnificent cover? Mexico City- 1950s Noemí Taboada, a young socialite, who wishes to achieve more in her life than marrying a man her father approves of, is given the chance to secure her dreams of attending university, if she will travel to “High Place” to check on her cousin, Catalina, who has been writing strange, alarming letters, suggesting she is either quite ill or in grave danger. Upon her arrival to the crumbling mansion, Noemi receives a very frosty greeting from Catalina’s husband, Virgil, and the limited staff. Even more disconcerting to Noemi, is her cousin’s fragility, and the fierce opposition others have to Noemi’s spending time alone with Catalina. Capping things off is the house itself- which offers no modern accommodations, not even common basics, and appears to be rotting at the seams. If that isn’t unsettling enough for you- wait until you get a load of Virgil’s ancient Uncle Howard!! Almost immediately, Noemi begins having extremely vivid, highly sexual, and lurid dreams or hallucinations. Virgil shrugs this off as ‘sleepwalking’ episodes. However, as time passes, the atmosphere in the house becomes even more claustrophobic, and the staff’s demeanor never thaws toward Noemi. One would think they were trying to scare Noemi away, but instead they are becoming more and more insistent that she remains in the house…. As horrifying as that prospect might be, Noemi is also intrigued- by the legends, Virgil, and with the youngest member of the family, Francis- the only friendly face on the entire estate. With Francis’ reluctant help, Noemi is determined to learn the history of the region and to free her cousin from the grasp of her oddly mesmerizing husband and the curse of 'High Place'. This is one super creepy novel! The atmosphere is off the charts spooky and the imagery is incredibly vivid. The blurb calls this a ‘re-imagining of the classic Gothic suspense novel’. Go with that description and think about what that word ‘re-imagining’ might mean. This book has been compared to ‘Rebecca’ by publicists, promoters, and editorial or professional reviewers. Naturally, I’m going to have to agree to disagree about that comparison. Why? Both novels are, without a doubt, Gothic literature. But… I never viewed “Rebecca” as a horror novel. The supernatural tones one senses in that novel, is not at all like what one will experience when reading this novel. If I could rewrite the blurb, I would substitute the word ‘Suspense’ with the word “Horror”. The book is very suspenseful, but you are getting a true horror novel experience here, and not one that is merely implied. While ‘re-imagining’ is a great way to describe this modern spin on the classic genre, in more ways than one it is pure traditional Gothic Horror!! The author did a fabulous job marrying Gothic and Horror, creating a complex and hypnotizing tone, keeping me glued to the pages- especially during the last quarter of the book. That said, keep in mind that Gothic fiction is not known for its blistering pace. However, I felt like this one moved along at a nice clip, despite a lag here and there. It’s dark and ghastly, replete with classic Gothic Grotesquerie, and lots of mind tripping chills and thrills, plus, a little bit of romance for balance and lightness. Overall, this is the best Gothic horror novel I’ve read in ages!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill

    2.5 stars...Yeah I know...this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. As soon as I found out this would be a BOTM, I grabbed it, I dropped everything I was doing to read it....and well that didn't work out so well. The premise was amazing. The cover was even more amazing. SO I dug into this book and I waited for it to pick up. I waited, and turned another page and waited....and waited...... Finally I turned to my fellow reviewers at page 200 to see..umm does this pick up? They said ye 2.5 stars...Yeah I know...this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. As soon as I found out this would be a BOTM, I grabbed it, I dropped everything I was doing to read it....and well that didn't work out so well. The premise was amazing. The cover was even more amazing. SO I dug into this book and I waited for it to pick up. I waited, and turned another page and waited....and waited...... Finally I turned to my fellow reviewers at page 200 to see..umm does this pick up? They said yeah wait for it...Okay so it did pick up- at page 250. So the last 50 pages of the book was crammed full of weirdness. Noemi is living the good life. She is living off daddy's dime and a socialite in Mexico City. Her father makes it clear that she needs to do him a favor and head out to a remote estate that her cousin Catalina is living with her recently acquired husband Virgil. He wants her to check in on her because- well it appears she has lost her mind. She is sending letters home of people living in the walls, claims her husband is poisoning her among other bizarre statements. Sounds intriguing right??? Well I thought so too. I was all in... Yet when Noemi gets to the estate she is hardly allowed to spend any time with her cousin. She is not allowed to freely roam around or do anything she wants. So why doesn't she just leave? Or take her cousin? Instead the first 250 pages was spent with her mulling around the house and having vivid nightmares. Sure it was creepy but there was no plot. I failed to connect to ANY of the characters because, there just wasn't enough information put forth about them. Trust me, I can take weird. I LOVED Ninth House! I would have given that book 10 stars if Goodreads would let me. That was dark, creepy, weirdness and I loved it. Personally for me, this book took just too long to take off. When it finally did, it felt like a ton of stuff was jammed into the last 50 pages. It was so bizarre and out there- it just wasn't for it. Don't let my review sway you because there are alot of fantastic reviews out there about this one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Merphy Napier

    This an adult gothic horror that's heavily inspired by "The Yellow Wallpaper" (a story I LOVE). Overall, I really enjoyed it but I do feel like it had potential to be a 5 star book that I rave about for a very long time and I'm disappointed because I feel like it had some missed potential, but I still really enjoyed it and still recommend! There are some potential trigger warnings I wanna mention though for anyone who's gonna read on my rec (view spoiler)[ sexual assault (about 5 scenes and I'd This an adult gothic horror that's heavily inspired by "The Yellow Wallpaper" (a story I LOVE). Overall, I really enjoyed it but I do feel like it had potential to be a 5 star book that I rave about for a very long time and I'm disappointed because I feel like it had some missed potential, but I still really enjoyed it and still recommend! There are some potential trigger warnings I wanna mention though for anyone who's gonna read on my rec (view spoiler)[ sexual assault (about 5 scenes and I'd put them on about a 4 or 5 out if 10 for triggering level. It's a trigger for me and I was fine) suicide (one scene. Graphic. Maybe an 8 but it's not a trigger for me so I'm not sure). And child brutality (one scene. Graphic. 10) (hide spoiler)] What I loved: - gothic. The gothic vibes were very good. I felt like I was in a classic gothic horror at times, it got the feel down very well. - culture. Obvs this takes place in Mexico and I really enjoyed reading about these characters culture, traditions, and family dynamics - characters. They weren't tremendously complex but easy for me to like (or hate) each of them and I enjoyed following all of them. - the plot. I really enjoyed what this story was doing from start to finish. Which is why I say it had so much potential, I really enjoyed reading it What didn't work for me - the horror. Like I said, the gothic elements were done very well. I was disappointed with the amount of horror we got. Actually this is my biggest complaint. On a scale of 10, I'd say the horror is at about a 3 for most of the book, and near the end it's amped up to a 5 tops. This story was so good but I just really wanted the horror/suspense/spooky vibes to be cranked up *a lot* - the reveal. So I thought the reveal was fine. I guessed most of it but that's just because the ground laying was good. My problem was that it happened earlier than I'd like. By the time the horror amped up, I already had one foot out the door because the mystery was solved and it was just a matter of getting out alive. I would have loved for it to either be revealed later, or end a bit sooner. That said, my negatives are more of, "great book but I wish for little changes" not big complaints. I still really enjoyed it and def do recommend! Just go in knowing the horror/suspense will be on the lighter side.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Arini

    3.5 Stars For as intriguing as it is, immersive it is not. This tale is bizzare and fascinating in its monotony, and in the second half there lies the charm—or the problem, depending on how you look at it. The book operates on the classic trope of isolated old creaky mansion complete with its misty private cemetery and ‘eccentrically macabre’ family. On the surface, the Doyles look like a harmless and orderly household, but the peculiarity rests within (literally) the walls of the house—its secret 3.5 Stars For as intriguing as it is, immersive it is not. This tale is bizzare and fascinating in its monotony, and in the second half there lies the charm—or the problem, depending on how you look at it. The book operates on the classic trope of isolated old creaky mansion complete with its misty private cemetery and ‘eccentrically macabre’ family. On the surface, the Doyles look like a harmless and orderly household, but the peculiarity rests within (literally) the walls of the house—its secrets and history, the mind twisting effects it has on the people living inside it. The characters are described a certain way, and for the most part they are unchanging. I didn’t like Noemí. Someone needs to introduce her to the proverb “when in Rome do as the Romans do” cause she’s so nonchalant, rude, nosy, and sometimes acts like a brat. I had a crush on Francis, and I also kinda had the hots for Virgil . . . which I know how not right that sounds considering he’s a creep. Howard is a disgusting old man, just ew! It’s a shame that Catalina is such a passive character when she’s the reason for Noemí’s visit in the first place. There’s the barest hint of romance, but its unclear presence makes it pointless. The plot doesn’t take flight until the last 30% to 40% of the book. When it does, it veers into such unexpected direction that it’ll leave you flabbergasted. Because of this drastic shift, it feels like reading two different books where one (the first half) is a tedious mystery/suspense and another (the second half) is an absurd supernatural—borderline fantasy—horror. I’d considered why I wasn’t as enamored and mesmerised as the majority of GR readers, and I decided it was because I didn’t vibe with the writing. It’s easy to follow, but it’s also . . . dry. The book goes so far as utilizing disturbing themes and graphic scenes, but they are never truly felt. The whole experience for me was like NOT peering through a pair of 3D glasses. (Read as an Audiobook)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Buehner

    Hmm. How best to describe “Mexican Gothic?” I guess I would say it’s – A little bit H. P. Lovecraft. A little bit Alfred Hitchcock. A lotta bit creepy old house. Yes. Mexican Gothic is part mystery. It’s part Gothic suspense. It’s part horror. Maybe even part New Weird. (Maybe.) And all its various parts are expertly and seamlessly blended by the skillful words of Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Set in 1950s Mexico, the novel follows the young socialite, Noemi Taboada, as she travels to High Place, an old mans Hmm. How best to describe “Mexican Gothic?” I guess I would say it’s – A little bit H. P. Lovecraft. A little bit Alfred Hitchcock. A lotta bit creepy old house. Yes. Mexican Gothic is part mystery. It’s part Gothic suspense. It’s part horror. Maybe even part New Weird. (Maybe.) And all its various parts are expertly and seamlessly blended by the skillful words of Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Set in 1950s Mexico, the novel follows the young socialite, Noemi Taboada, as she travels to High Place, an old mansion in the countryside, to visit her newly married cousin, Catalina. Concerned for her cousin’s welfare after receiving a disturbingly odd letter from Catalina, Noemi is uncertain as to what she will find at the house upon her arrival. Noemi quickly learns that not only is High Place dreary and decrepit, but it is inhabited by the highly peculiar and unusual Doyle family. Determined to help her cousin, Noemi refuses to be intimidated by the members of Catalina’s married-into family – namely, the enigmatic Virgil, her cousin’s husband, and Howard, the elderly Doyle patriarch who develops a weird obsession with Noemi, herself. And she also fails to be frightened by High Place, even as the house begins to occupy and fill her dreams with disturbing, unimaginable scenes of horrifying violence. Before long, Noemi discovers that many dark and shocking secrets hide among the Doyles and the confines of High Place. She can only hope that it’s not too late to save Catalina, and herself, from the clutches of the family and the house. I think Moreno-Garcia took a bit of a risk with Mexican Gothic. Many genres are crossed and bent in order for her to successfully and innovatively twist the classic Gothic haunted house story. In the hands of a lesser writer, I believe the novel would’ve likely fallen flat on its face. But Moreno-Garcia is certainly not a lesser writer. And her gamble pays off handsomely. The novel is incredibly atmospheric and eerie. Moreno-Garcia’s writing is so vividly descriptive, and she creates an environment on the page that is almost claustrophobic to read. High Place comes to life – I could visualize the colors and the tapestries, smell the decay, feel the dampness of the hallways. I felt as if I was within the walls of the old mansion, right alongside Noemi. Moreno-Garcia also employs more of a classic style of writing that, to me, is very reminiscent of the 1950s and serves to further set the scene, creating a feeling of being swept back in time to a different era. Moreover, Moreno-Garcia takes her time developing the story and refuses to rush the narrative. The pace, admittedly, is slightly sluggish in the beginning of the novel, but not ever was I bored. I found the slow build of the creep factor, the gradually escalating strangeness of High Place to be quite effective. But in terms of horror, Mexican Gothic is not what I would consider to be truly frightening. It stimulates a different kind of terror in the reader. It’s more of a chilling, grotesque, sickening, shudder-inducing, Lovecraft and New Weird type of horror, rather than an I-need-to-leave-all-the-lights-on-to-go-to-sleep-because-I’m-so-scared type of horror. And Noemi – I enjoyed her immensely. She’s smart. She’s brave. She’s witty. She’s also extremely self-absorbed and superficial, but she shows true concern for Catalina and genuinely desires to help her. She has a strong heart. Moreno-Garcia puts forth great effort to develop Noemi fully, resulting in a very well-rounded character. But the Doyle family – well-rounded, they are not. All we truly know about Virgil, Howard, and the cousins, Florence and Francis, is that they are certifiably creepy and highly odd. Occasionally, we are given details about their past histories to fill in the gaps. For the most part, however, they come across as extremely flat, one-dimensional individuals. You know what, though? The flat characterization still works, for some reason. I believe it has something to do with the overall classic horror film feel of Mexican Gothic and all the Alfred Hitchcock vibes the story radiates. In my mind while reading, I repeatedly envisioned Hitchcock turning the narrative into a movie. And the flat, almost distant characterization of the Doyle family seems to fit the novel if viewing it from the standpoint of an old-school scary movie. (Make sense? Hope so.) Now, for my one complaint – the mystery regarding the origin of the supernatural phenomena and illness at High Place is just too simple for the reader to solve. It is glaringly obvious if close attention is paid. Moreno-Garcia neither hides her hand well, nor bluffs the reader. By the time I was a quarter of the way through the book, I knew the how and why of all the madness, and I was mildly disappointed that the secret of the source was not more heavily veiled. Sigh. Perfection is difficult to come by, isn’t it? As imperfect as it may be, Mexican Gothic is nonetheless a terrific read. I loved it. And I highly recommend it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vibur

    The stuff of potent mushroom trips and psychedelic nightmares. Yeah. It was fun. (I'm kidding. Don't do drugs, kids.) Holy carping crap, this is so creatively creepy, and I love it. The writing. Oh, the writing. There was something about it, the sinister, sinuous lilt of it, that imbued a tangibly morbid intrigue. The weight of it slithering insidiously around me, twisting and twining—as if it was tightening into a noose around my throat, wringing the air from my lungs and swallowing me whole. I'l The stuff of potent mushroom trips and psychedelic nightmares. Yeah. It was fun. (I'm kidding. Don't do drugs, kids.) Holy carping crap, this is so creatively creepy, and I love it. The writing. Oh, the writing. There was something about it, the sinister, sinuous lilt of it, that imbued a tangibly morbid intrigue. The weight of it slithering insidiously around me, twisting and twining—as if it was tightening into a noose around my throat, wringing the air from my lungs and swallowing me whole. I'll say it again, this thing nails creepy. The settings are rendered in vividly evocative detail, evincing an eerie, sinister edge. Now, this won't be the most perfect description, but, all the same, imagine—pale, lumpy mushrooms, sprouting rampantly from plaster and paint. Blotches of mould blooming in dim, musty corners. The cloying scent of decay clinging to the air. It's all nightmarishly surreal, dreams and reality meshing into a myriad of deranged, hallucinatory imagery (legit, magicmushrooms). I love, love this novel. It's so sinisterly and weirdly wrought, steeped in creepy atmosphere and uncannily psychedelic imaginings and, yes, mushrooms. (Like I said, kids, don't do drugs. Do this.) 4.0/5

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest DNF @ p.84 I am actually a huge fan of retro Gothic novels from the 60s and 70s, so when I found out about MEXICAN GOTHIC, a Latinx take on the popular Gothic novel subgenre, I was pee-in-my-pants excited. Just look at that cover! OMG. Stunning. Sadly, the cover is the best thing about this book. It was SO BORING. Noemi is a socialite whose father doesn't approve of her superficial ways. She goes to see her cousin in the countryside after Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest DNF @ p.84 I am actually a huge fan of retro Gothic novels from the 60s and 70s, so when I found out about MEXICAN GOTHIC, a Latinx take on the popular Gothic novel subgenre, I was pee-in-my-pants excited. Just look at that cover! OMG. Stunning. Sadly, the cover is the best thing about this book. It was SO BORING. Noemi is a socialite whose father doesn't approve of her superficial ways. She goes to see her cousin in the countryside after receiving a mysterious and paranoid-sounding letter about poison and danger-- it sounds like she might fear her husband and his family! Right away, things are... well, not creepy, but definitely not like home. One of the older relatives is a fan of eugenics, the house is creaky and old, and Noemi has strange nightmares every night. Oh, and her cousin has tuberculosis and might be going mad... or maybe not. This had the perfect recipe for a good book but the writing plodded and it was just so uninteresting to me. Wooden, I think, is the term I'm looking for. I had the same problem with THE SEVEN AND A HALF DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE, a book that purported to be an engaging mystery but ended up being wooden and kind of lame. Giving this two stars since I feel I could probably find it OK if I forced myself through it, but as tedious as this is, why bother? I have other things to read during this period of self-quarantine that aren't going to make me fall asleep. Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy! 1.5 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Holly (Holly Hearts Books)

    This was the creepiest and weirdest book I've read so far this year. WHAT A WILD RIDE. Imagine it's the 1950's, you're driving through a small town, up a winding hill, through some rusty gates and through the fog you see a huge Gothic mansion... with a VERY troubled past. Silvia has an outstanding way with setting a mood. Every bit of her writing and setting comes together into this dreamy, Gothic sense that pervades absolutely every bit of the book. It’s enchanting really and helps catch the read This was the creepiest and weirdest book I've read so far this year. WHAT A WILD RIDE. Imagine it's the 1950's, you're driving through a small town, up a winding hill, through some rusty gates and through the fog you see a huge Gothic mansion... with a VERY troubled past. Silvia has an outstanding way with setting a mood. Every bit of her writing and setting comes together into this dreamy, Gothic sense that pervades absolutely every bit of the book. It’s enchanting really and helps catch the reader up and make the strange world within convincing. What is so terrific in this novel is the intricately woven back story to the reckoning. The cryptic but riveting manner with which the passing of time is described had me enchanted. It was, in a way, full of desperation and longing, though strangely beautiful This is a plot and mystery driven novel. In addition to the alarming present happenings, there's a mysterious past that Noemí has yet to unscramble, and a future that remains grimly uncertain. I loved that she's not supposed to be likable. She's very vain and she knows it and being surrounded by a mysterious family who are incredibly strict: 1. Absolute silence! (especially during dinner) 2. No driving down to the local town 3. No smoking 4. No lighting (better keep curtains closed) 5. No hot water during baths 6. Be a respectful young lady It lead's her to become feisty, with numerous confrontations and rebellious acts and you can't help but root for her and hope she finds the answers she seeks. Also on the subject of balance, with all the eeriness and horror, I was glad to have some sweet moments of awkward, youthful romance to lighten things up. Don't expect a passion-filled, all-encompassing love story. It's a simple, yet sweet romance that leaves you smiling. Come to Mexican Gothic for the dark and creepy, and you shall likely leave satisfied.

  13. 4 out of 5

    mina reads™️

    pre release thoughts: A gothic suspense novel set in 1950s Mexico? My body is ready 🤩🤩 Review: 7/18/2020 3.5 stars what the fuckkkkkk I don't know how to feel about this book but it certainly took me on a wild ass ride. This story follows Noemi, a flighty, party-going 22 year old who is enlisted by her father to check in on an older cousin, Catalina, who has been whisked away by her mysterious husband and has sent very troubing letters that leave her family members questioning her safety and sanity. pre release thoughts: A gothic suspense novel set in 1950s Mexico? My body is ready 🤩🤩 Review: 7/18/2020 3.5 stars what the fuckkkkkk I don't know how to feel about this book but it certainly took me on a wild ass ride. This story follows Noemi, a flighty, party-going 22 year old who is enlisted by her father to check in on an older cousin, Catalina, who has been whisked away by her mysterious husband and has sent very troubing letters that leave her family members questioning her safety and sanity. The language and imagery in this was really evocative, Moreno-Garcia's writing style perfectly suited this gothic story. As much as the english major in me was loving the writing I did find myself incredibly bored during the first 100 or so pages of this story and I struggled immensely to feel connected to this story and our protagonist Noemi at first. It really seemed like we kept getting a repetitive collection of scenes and I was so bored with it. Then things changed immensely after that first hundred pages and I honestly cannot even begin to discuss how swiftly this story changed from the tried and trite gothic tale with the misty, decrepit mansion full of kooky occupants and transitioned into something so uniquely creepy, it made my skin crawl. From the point of the initial reveal onward I felt mysef frantically flipping the pages seeking answers to the millions of questions this story raises. I found myself feeling just as confused and tormented as our protagonist and it was quite the experience to say the least, and I won't spoil that adventure for you. However, I did feel that the exceptionally slow start and also the romance that blossoms in this story did lessen my experience a bit. The romance just felt a bit unnecessary to me and there was no romantic chemistry between these two characters, only shared trauma, why couldn't they just be friends??? So 3.5 stars and I have no clue whether I should round that up or not so I'll just let the review speak for itself with no star rating for now. Also here's the content warnings which will be considered spoilers to some so avoid if you don't need them cw: sexual assault, incest, body horror, cannabalism, infanticide, murder arc provided in exchange for an honest review

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    3.5 stars Noemí Taboada is sent by her father to High Place after receiving a letter from her recently married cousin, Catalina. Her cousin's letter in unsettling and her father hopes Neomi can help her cousin and bring back answers as to her cousin's mental status. Noemí arrives at the distant home called High Place. Her husband's family lives there, and she doesn't know them at all, but it doesn't take long for her to know that something isn't quite right with them. Talk about pushy, demanding. 3.5 stars Noemí Taboada is sent by her father to High Place after receiving a letter from her recently married cousin, Catalina. Her cousin's letter in unsettling and her father hopes Neomi can help her cousin and bring back answers as to her cousin's mental status. Noemí arrives at the distant home called High Place. Her husband's family lives there, and she doesn't know them at all, but it doesn't take long for her to know that something isn't quite right with them. Talk about pushy, demanding. and controlling. It becomes crystal clear that her cousin has changed since her marriage. She has moments of clarity and moments where she is clearly not herself. Plus, her cousin's husband, Virgil and his family do not want Noemí bringing in outside doctors or taking her cousin to seek medical attention elsewhere. Not only that, but they also limit the amount of time she is able to visit with her cousin. Strange....hmmm High points for originality. This book is creepy with a capital "C". Soon the you-know-what begins to hit the fan and this freakshow of a family begins to show their true colors. There is a saying " you can't choose your family" but this family would disagree. This book is dark, creepy, atmospheric and chilling. The descriptions are very vivid, and I could easily see this book playing out in my mind. I could see this book being a movie. I did wish for the pacing to be a little faster at times. There were parts where I felt as if I were trapped in High place and wanted to escape myself. Overall, very original, dark, atmospheric, chilling and just plain strange at times. Plus, I think this book cured me from ever wanting to eat a certain food item again. BTW- How about that cover? Thank you to Random House Publishing- Ballantine Del Rey and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    3.5 stars I nearly DNF'ed this one after the first 50 pages because if how slow it was, but I'm glad I pushed through because this book ha some really great, creepy moments. The author also made a killer playlist on Spotify to go with this book and I've been listening to it non-stop ever since reading it so that's a cool bonus. Hear all my thoughts on this reading vlog here: https://youtu.be/S9Xg82fEvuo 3.5 stars I nearly DNF'ed this one after the first 50 pages because if how slow it was, but I'm glad I pushed through because this book ha some really great, creepy moments. The author also made a killer playlist on Spotify to go with this book and I've been listening to it non-stop ever since reading it so that's a cool bonus. Hear all my thoughts on this reading vlog here: https://youtu.be/S9Xg82fEvuo

  16. 5 out of 5

    daph_pink

    10 *I AM SHIT SCARED* stars there was something so charming and beautiful about the cover that drew me towards it! (I mean just look at this stunning cover and think how beautiful it will look in your bookshelf) I honestly don’t like Gothic books, it’s like my second Gothic book (after a failed attempt to read Wuthering heights for like 1000 times.) and ohhh boyyy I freaking loved it. Like a 5 star rating is less to describe how much I loved this book! Once in a while a book is published that you 10 *I AM SHIT SCARED* stars there was something so charming and beautiful about the cover that drew me towards it! (I mean just look at this stunning cover and think how beautiful it will look in your bookshelf) I honestly don’t like Gothic books, it’s like my second Gothic book (after a failed attempt to read Wuthering heights for like 1000 times.) and ohhh boyyy I freaking loved it. Like a 5 star rating is less to describe how much I loved this book! Once in a while a book is published that you can’t stop thinking about and you keep pursuing your kith and kin to read it, this is one such book for me. DISCLAIMER: - DON’T READ THIS BOOK AT NIGHT IF YOU HAVE A VIVID IMAGINATION .WHY? Because it will scare the shit out of you, you will be afraid of your own shadow, it will make your blood run cold, your soul will jump out of your skin, your heart will miss a beat and you will be scared out of your wits! But at the same time there is something so beautiful about its creepiness that you will find it engrossing, captivating, absorbing, riveting, consuming and addictive that you not be able to put it down despite the fact that it scared the daylights out of you!!!! The phenomenal idea of blending the old, nasty and haunted house stories with the modern aspect of eugenics, Darwin’s theory of natural selection, concept of inferior and superior traits and that whole idea of fungal association with humans forming gloom, I mean I have read about symbiosis and mycorrhiza but wtf is this, I mean who in right mind can think this! The author is crazy (good crazy). *adding author to fav authors list. *adding book to my fav book list. SOME OTHER ASPECTS THAT MAKE THE BOOK LOVABLE • Atmospheric :- the beautiful picture the author paints of the high place will make you fall in love with the place despite the fact that you can’t leave it. • Characters :- the confident, intelligent and life of the party Noemi, artistic, shy and lover of mushrooms Francis ,flirting, nasty and dangerous Virgil , controlling ,demandingFlorence and head of the house MR. DOYLE( let’s just leave him, mere thinking about his name give me chills) . • Slowest burning romance • dicey situation and twists This is the first book by this author and it’s definitely not going to be the last. She owns my heart and head (mentally decided to read everything written by her) And definitely going to reread this book again and again till it stops scaring the shit out of me and ik that’s never going to happen. I can’t wait for the day I will be able to buy this book and take in the smell of it, the day this beautiful piece of art will adore my bookshelf!! Not recommend for everyone because you need patience if you truly want to enjoy the book because its slow paced in first half but it’s worth it because the second half will make you fall in love with this book! TW:- sexual assault, incest, murder, cannibalism, death of parent, death of children, stillbirth, miscarriage!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anne Bogel

    I'll admit, the "Gothic horror" label made me a little afraid to dive in, as I stay away from the scary stuff. But I needn't have feared: this new novel is deliciously creepy, but not frightening. Moreno-Garcia places situates her novel firmly in the tradition of Gothic country house classics like Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, and even references some of these titles in her novel. When Noemí's father appoints her to see to some business on his behalf, the beautiful, intelligent young socialite I'll admit, the "Gothic horror" label made me a little afraid to dive in, as I stay away from the scary stuff. But I needn't have feared: this new novel is deliciously creepy, but not frightening. Moreno-Garcia places situates her novel firmly in the tradition of Gothic country house classics like Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, and even references some of these titles in her novel. When Noemí's father appoints her to see to some business on his behalf, the beautiful, intelligent young socialite agrees to do her duty for the family. Her recently married cousin Catalina has sent an odd, urgent letter to the family, pleading for someone to save her—but from what? When Noemí visits her new marital home High Place, a remote and lavish estate built by ill-treated mine workers, she discovers her cousin's predicament is worse than she feared: her husband is a brute, her father-in-law a terror, the staff deeply hostile, and even the house itself seems set against her—and worse, determined to entrap her. No spoilers here, but if you like the sound of a deeply strange and spine-tingling read about a smart heroine who saves herself, this is the book for you. Excellent on audio.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Noemi is a socialite, rather like a Scarlet O'Hara type of young women. She likes to flirt, leave men dangling for her favors, loves clothes and partying. Her father is wealthy and doesn't approve of her latest conquest. When he receives a strange message from his newly married young neice, he is worried enough to request that Noemi travel to the Mexican countryside to find out what is happening. When Noemi arrives at High Place, the name of the ancestral home of her cousins husband, she finds t Noemi is a socialite, rather like a Scarlet O'Hara type of young women. She likes to flirt, leave men dangling for her favors, loves clothes and partying. Her father is wealthy and doesn't approve of her latest conquest. When he receives a strange message from his newly married young neice, he is worried enough to request that Noemi travel to the Mexican countryside to find out what is happening. When Noemi arrives at High Place, the name of the ancestral home of her cousins husband, she finds things very strange indeed. Gothic in nature and tone, the creepiness and strangeness of this novel accelerates. All is not as it appears and things get stranger and stranger. I fervently hoped that the young man I liked would not become a villian, but this family has many secrets and are committed to keeping them hidden. Noemi will discover hidden strengths, which she will desperately need to survive. As things decelerate into outright horror and the secrets the house is harboring is revealed, I couldn't help comparing it to The Shining. The situations are different but the power held in the house, its hold on those inside, becomes apparent. It also shows how those in charge will do anything to keep what they have, how little those in the way mean to them. Quite good and chilling, strange and horrifying. Could be I was just in the mood for something though unbelievable pulled me out of myself. ARC from Edelweiss.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    Full of decaying glamour, dark secrets and a good amount of gnarly blood and guts, Mexican Gothic more than met the already high expectations I had for it. I’ve been a big fan of Silvia Moreno-Garcia since picking up Gods of Jade and Shadow last year. One of the best things about her as an author is that she’s sort of genre-fluid (a term I just made up). Gods was a Mexican/indigenous fantasy taking place in the 1920s, Untamed Shore was a noir set in Mexico in the 70s, and now we have Mexican Goth Full of decaying glamour, dark secrets and a good amount of gnarly blood and guts, Mexican Gothic more than met the already high expectations I had for it. I’ve been a big fan of Silvia Moreno-Garcia since picking up Gods of Jade and Shadow last year. One of the best things about her as an author is that she’s sort of genre-fluid (a term I just made up). Gods was a Mexican/indigenous fantasy taking place in the 1920s, Untamed Shore was a noir set in Mexico in the 70s, and now we have Mexican Gothic, a Gothic horror novel from the 1950s that’s set in....you guessed it, Mexico. Honestly reading the first third or so of this book, I was nervous I wouldn’t love it. Moreno-Garcia is so gifted in writing locations and time periods, but the beginning was a lot of Noemí just walking around an old, moldy house. Obviously this just ended up being a set-up for the absolutely insane stuff that happens later in the novel, but if you’re reading Mexican Gothic right now and it feels a little slow, then keep going! I promise it will start to pick up and the tension will only increase. It’s a little bit mystery, mixed with some horror and supernatural elements. There’s historical context, plus it’s totally dripping in gothic tone. I loved it, and I’m so grateful to have gotten to review an early copy. Mexican Gothic is equal parts menacing and suspenseful, with plenty of bite—check it out when it’s released later this month! *Thanks to Boston Book Fanatic & Jordy’s Book Club of the Mystery Book Club and their partners at Random House for an advance review copy of this book! If you’d like to follow along with us as we read this month’s selection on Instagram, you can find them at @bostonbookfanatic, @jordys.book.club, @mystery.book.club and @randomhouse, respectively.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Olivia (Stories For Coffee)

    Maybe a 2.5 STARS? Mexican Gothic held so much promise but couldn’t quite deliver its gory, on-the-edge-of-my-seat gothic thriller I thought I would receive. While the premise was fascinating and sucked me right in, I had to drag my way through the initial 1/3 of the novel before I finally found myself in the groove of the story. One of Mexican Gothic’s biggest weakness was the fact that we always stayed pretty surface level in terms of characterization and plot. Noemí shows up at High Place in ho Maybe a 2.5 STARS? Mexican Gothic held so much promise but couldn’t quite deliver its gory, on-the-edge-of-my-seat gothic thriller I thought I would receive. While the premise was fascinating and sucked me right in, I had to drag my way through the initial 1/3 of the novel before I finally found myself in the groove of the story. One of Mexican Gothic’s biggest weakness was the fact that we always stayed pretty surface level in terms of characterization and plot. Noemí shows up at High Place in hopes of checking in on her cousin, the driving force of the plot, who claimed this cryptic family she married into was hurting her, but we never actually get to know her cousin besides some superficial facts about her. I would have loved to have heard stories from her to learn more about her experiences in the High Place, but instead, she is pushed to the background of the plot and only appears a handful of times. Also, I have to say that the romance wasn’t necessary to the plotline. There was little to no chemistry between the two characters who fall for one another during dire circumstances, and for once, I have to admit that their romance wasn’t believable nor was it very interesting to read. I was very excited for Mexican Gothic, but I’m sad to say that the story fell flat for me and failed to deliver. I simply wasn’t intrigued by the story, the writing style was tough to get through, and the characters were very 1 dimensional, leaving space between me, the reader, and the story that I wish could have sucked me in. READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE: StoriesForCoffee.com

  21. 5 out of 5

    amy ☂︎

    a gothic suspense novel set in 1950s Mexico and a book cover that could cut a bitch. yes, i’m keeping my eye out for this one.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Frank Phillips

    4.5 Stars, rounding down. I thought it had a wonderful 'Crimson Peak' vibe and was perfectly creepy throughout, up until the reveal, which was more like 'The Cell' and then I just thought it fell a little flat and became a bit lame for me. The novel didn't scare me one bit at that point on, and almost felt more science fiction than horror, which was let-down....can't say a whole lot more without spoiling it one way or another. I really enjoyed the protagonist, Noemi, as she had a ton of personal 4.5 Stars, rounding down. I thought it had a wonderful 'Crimson Peak' vibe and was perfectly creepy throughout, up until the reveal, which was more like 'The Cell' and then I just thought it fell a little flat and became a bit lame for me. The novel didn't scare me one bit at that point on, and almost felt more science fiction than horror, which was let-down....can't say a whole lot more without spoiling it one way or another. I really enjoyed the protagonist, Noemi, as she had a ton of personality, was feisty as could be and a non-conformist, which seems to be rare for the time this takes place ('50s). All of the other characters were nicely fleshed out and I either loathed them (Florence), was grossed out by them (H. Doyle), or thought they were charming (Francis). I haven't read Garcia's previous novels, but I have a feeling one of her strengths as a writer lies in her character development. Overall, this was a very solid, richly atmospheric, tensely wound Gothic horror (until the end!), that i'm sure most will love and put on their 2020 Best of GR list. This author definitely has my attention!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    Silvia Moreno-Garcia is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors of all time. I have read three of her works (Gods of Jade and Shadow, Untamed Shore, and Mexican Gothic), and all of them have been 5 star reads for me. I have many of her other works, so I am really looking forward to reading them soon. Mexican Gothic is an adult Gothic horror novel set in the 1950s in Mexico. The story follows Noemí Taboada, a smart and stubborn socialite. However, her glamorous life is uprooted after her fathe Silvia Moreno-Garcia is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors of all time. I have read three of her works (Gods of Jade and Shadow, Untamed Shore, and Mexican Gothic), and all of them have been 5 star reads for me. I have many of her other works, so I am really looking forward to reading them soon. Mexican Gothic is an adult Gothic horror novel set in the 1950s in Mexico. The story follows Noemí Taboada, a smart and stubborn socialite. However, her glamorous life is uprooted after her father receives a letter from her newlywed cousin, Catalina. Her letter does not make a whole lot of sense, but it causes concern. She claims that someone is trying to poison her and that she needs saving from an evil that is lurking at High Place, her new home in the Mexican countryside that was built by the British family she married into. Noemí’s father enlists her help by sending her to check up on Catalina and the Doyle family. It is not long before she realizes how right Catalina was in her letter. High Place and its guests are not welcoming nor are they forthcoming about Catalina’s health and their secrets. The Doyles — mostly Howard, Florence, and Virgil — are very strict and set in their ways. The only family member who seems somewhat normal is Francis, but Noemí soon learns that High Place makes it hard to trust anyone. What then ensues is an unbelievably weird ride. Beyond a general premise of the plot, I think it is best to go into this novel without knowing too much in order to really immerse yourself into the story. Moreno-Garcia does an amazing job creating a creepy and haunting atmosphere. She brings the setting to life in new ways that will surprise you: the old rotting mansion, an eerie cemetery, vivid and spine-chilling dreams. She even adds to this by looking at colonialism, race, and eugenics. In addition to this, Moreno-Garcia continues to create unique characters yet again. While Noemí may seem rude or entitled sometimes, I loved her character. She lives her life for herself and stands her ground, even against the twisted residents of High Place. As seen in her other works as well, I deeply enjoy the slower build writing style that the author employs. Somehow it feels so soothing and flows incredibly well, and then you finally get to a point where so many crazy things are happening. The latter half of this novel completely took me by surprise. Mexican Gothic was my most anticipated read of 2020, and I am so glad that it lived up to my expectations. Silvia Moreno-Garcia has yet to disappoint me. Honestly at this point, I will buy and read anything she writes. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in gothic horror! Also, someone should definitely adapt it into a movie or television show. *Content warnings: epidemic/death, eugenics, racism, child death, incest, murder/gore, cannibalism, attempted rape*

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alix Harrow

    I haven't gotten much sleep four three days because my kid is sick and snotty. And yet last night--when he was finally sleeping soundly, when I could have been catching up on hours and hours of sleep--I stayed up til two in the morning finishing this stupid* book. It has everything you** want: a decaying mansion that smells of rot and ruin; a stubborn young socialite drawn into its dark mysteries; ghosts that scream warnings in the walls; a handsome young husband with a corroded soul; a family cu I haven't gotten much sleep four three days because my kid is sick and snotty. And yet last night--when he was finally sleeping soundly, when I could have been catching up on hours and hours of sleep--I stayed up til two in the morning finishing this stupid* book. It has everything you** want: a decaying mansion that smells of rot and ruin; a stubborn young socialite drawn into its dark mysteries; ghosts that scream warnings in the walls; a handsome young husband with a corroded soul; a family curse; cemeteries, convertibles, mushrooms, 50s fashion, wedding gowns with yellowed lace. It was dark, intense, chilling, subversive, sometimes disgusting, smart, intricate, and gorgeous. Read it. You won't regret it. * This book is not stupid. It is stunning. I'm the stupid one, because now my eyes are bleary and bloodshot and I still haven't slept. ** Assuming that "you" are a person who loved Wuthering Heights and Crimson Peak and wants to read a better, more subversive version set in the mountains of Hidalgo.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate Quinn

    Wow, wow, wow. Right now that's all I've got.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    Noemi is used to grand parties, sweeping dresses, and a string of admiring suitors. She isn't used to poverty-stricken towns, ramshackled grand houses, and a dismal mist that coats it all. Yet here she must remain to save both her cousin and her own future. Her father received a scrawled letter from her cousin's new address that spoke less of newlywed bliss and more of the mania of a troubled mind. Noemi has been dispatched to transport her to the nearest psychiatric aid, with dire warnings for t Noemi is used to grand parties, sweeping dresses, and a string of admiring suitors. She isn't used to poverty-stricken towns, ramshackled grand houses, and a dismal mist that coats it all. Yet here she must remain to save both her cousin and her own future. Her father received a scrawled letter from her cousin's new address that spoke less of newlywed bliss and more of the mania of a troubled mind. Noemi has been dispatched to transport her to the nearest psychiatric aid, with dire warnings for the repercussions it will hold for the family name and Noemi's future scholarly endeavours should she fail in this task. It may be more difficult an undertaking than foreseen however, when her new husband and their ominous abode won't release their claws on both her cousin and its new guest. My Gothic-loving heart could not have been more enamoured with this sinister setting and the uncanny occurrences that transpired there. Mysteries were in abundance and it was never clear where their roots lay or why exactly they were taking their menacing toll on the house inhabitants. I loved exploring the mould-ridden interior confines and the dark spaces where secrets and nightmares dwelt. Noemi proved herself a capable protagonist to see the reader through these horrors as her sassy ways, sarcastic wit, and fearsome spirit were a strong tonic against midnight terrors and the morbid house inhabitants. The entire cast were unique in their creation and it proved just as difficult to discern what was a trippy nightmare spectre as it was who to trust or loathe. I loved getting to know this close-knit family and their strange string of ancestors. Whilst never an altogether horrifying read for me, it remained suspenseful and sinister throughout. the finale was a mad dash for truth that left me open-mouthed yet breathless at the revelations and the journey to get there. This was wonderfully unique read and combined the best of Gothic fiction with a vivid historical setting, and vibrant Mexican roots. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and the publisher, Del Ray, for this opportunity.

  27. 4 out of 5

    sarah xoxo

    Mexican Gothic is like nothing I have ever read before. Creepy, unsettling and yet glamorous. Quiet, slow and yet mesmerising. This book starts in an unassuming way. A classic haunted mansion trope with only an interesting setting to spice it up. But once I lowered my guard and expectations- everything was flipped on its head and from that moment I was captivated. For the first half to two thirds, I found it quite slow and frankly boring. I adored the atmosphere, but it wasn't living up to the h Mexican Gothic is like nothing I have ever read before. Creepy, unsettling and yet glamorous. Quiet, slow and yet mesmerising. This book starts in an unassuming way. A classic haunted mansion trope with only an interesting setting to spice it up. But once I lowered my guard and expectations- everything was flipped on its head and from that moment I was captivated. For the first half to two thirds, I found it quite slow and frankly boring. I adored the atmosphere, but it wasn't living up to the horror or suspense that I was promised. If you are considering DNF'ing the book- I would urge you to at least read to the plot twist (you'll know it when you see it). From then on, I couldn't stop reading. It was such a unique and original concept that it is worth pushing through the first half to get to it. As for the characters, I had mixed feelings. I found our main character, Noemí to be a really interesting character to follow. This book is set in the 1950's, but Noemí didn't let society hold her back or censor her. Francis was quite possibly my favourite character. He had grown up in this house, and it was interesting to see how it affected him. He was adorable and innocent, but not untouched by the horrors present. I also really liked (probably the wrong word) Virgil's character. He had such a creepy vibe that I felt unsettled whenever he was on the page- and I loved it. However, most of the other characters fell flat for me. I didn't care for Catalina or anyone else, which lowered my enjoyment. If you don't feel attached to the characters, you don't care what happens to them- which is what horror and suspense novels tend to hinge on. "Noemí's father said she cared too much about her looks and parties to take school seriously, as if a woman could not do two things at once." The atmosphere and writing surprisingly gave me Maggie Stiefvater vibes. I can't fully explain it, but some of the scenes felt like that lucid dreaming quality of some of Call Down the Hawk in particular. The setting was done impeccably, to the point where I saw the mist, smelt the musty house and felt the terror. I would love to see this adapted as a movie or TV show. It would be everything. "The house, so quiet, with its curtains drawn, was like a dress lined with lead. Everything was heavy, even the air, and a musty scent lingered along the hallways. It felt almost as if it were a temple, a church, where one must speak in low voices and genuflect, and she supposed the servants had acclimatised to this environment and therefore tiptoed along the staircase, unwilling nuns who had made vows of silence." Overall, this was such an interesting reading experience for me. I felt varying degrees of indifference to boredom in the first half, but was enamoured by the rest. I would definitely recommend it to people who like slow burn, character driven novels with a strong atmosphere. I am now excited to try more of this author's backlist, as I think she has the possibility to be a new favourite author. ★★★☆☆.75 stars Thank you to Quercus Books for this ARC Release Date: 23 June 2020

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Thank Goodness that is done. The cover is beautiful, and I have always loved Mexico, but this book was not for me. I have always enjoyed Gothic mystery, supernatural with ghostly spectres, and horror stories. I gradually realized this attempt the combine all these elements was causing me to be disengaged from the story but I kept plodding through. I liked the beginning where Noemi arrives at the crumbling old mansion in the Mexican countryside. The nearby village had once been a thriving centre o Thank Goodness that is done. The cover is beautiful, and I have always loved Mexico, but this book was not for me. I have always enjoyed Gothic mystery, supernatural with ghostly spectres, and horror stories. I gradually realized this attempt the combine all these elements was causing me to be disengaged from the story but I kept plodding through. I liked the beginning where Noemi arrives at the crumbling old mansion in the Mexican countryside. The nearby village had once been a thriving centre of a prosperous silver mine. The old home is the ancestral estate of an English family who established now-closed mine. Noemi has been sent there to find out about her cousin, Catalina's wellbeing. Catalina had sent a rambling letter to Noemi's father suggesting she was in mental and physical danger. Noemi is an unlikely person for this type of investigation. She is a social butterfly, enjoying parties, dancing and flirting. She seems rude, self-centred, privileged and vain. However, she is brave and has an indomitable will to ensure her cousin's safety. The atmosphere of the haunted and eerie mansion is vividly drawn with its neglect and the mould infecting its surfaces. She feels unwelcome by the creepy family and is told to keep her silence even at the dinner table. There are numerous household rules laid down by the haughty, controlling Florence, and high-spirited Noemi always feared her reprimands. She is frequently thwarted from visiting her cousin who is in bed and appears to be in a dazed state. Catalina's handsome husband, Virgil, is a rude, nasty womanizer, and Noemi has reason to fear being raped by him. The present head of the household is a repulsive, disgusting old man confined to a sickbed. The monotony and dread experienced by Noemi is sometimes broken by her friendship with the pale, withdrawn, naive Felix, son of Florence. It begins to look like Noemi will never be able to rescue her cousin, and may never escape this house of horrors. As if this eerie family were not enough, ghosts, spectres, strange noises and shifting, glowing mould permeates the walls. I found the addition of a bizarre horror element to be outrageous and over-the-top. If it had been more subtle it might evoke fear, but I thought it bordered on the ridiculous and diluted the scare factor. Some themes mentioned but not explored were colonialism, racism. eugenics, misogyny. Warning: alluded to sexual assault, incest, suicide, cannibalism, murder, exploitation of natives, white supremacy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    After all, nothing in this place was what it seemed. There were secrets upon secrets. After receiving a frantic letter from her newly wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemi Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. Upon arrival she is met with hostility by the family and when she rests her head at night she is tormented by terrible nightmares. Noemi is about to discover some very disturbing secrets about the family her cousin ha After all, nothing in this place was what it seemed. There were secrets upon secrets. After receiving a frantic letter from her newly wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemi Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. Upon arrival she is met with hostility by the family and when she rests her head at night she is tormented by terrible nightmares. Noemi is about to discover some very disturbing secrets about the family her cousin has married into. I just want to say that I loved Noemi. She's intelligent, confident, funny, and loyal. I read so many books where the female protagonists are nothing but wilted little flowers (or batshit crazy) so it was refreshing to read about a woman that was cool and composed even in the midst of the mayhem that is High Place. The gothic tones and the atmosphere were pitch perfect. Silvia Moreno-Garcia has earned herself a new fan and I couldn't be happier to say that. This is a captivating and creepy ride from start to finish that I would gladly recommend. Oh and that cover = PERFECTION! 😍 4 stars!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Anders

    I was proud to give a cover quote to this book, and I've been thinking about it ever since. It's one of those books that keeps you guessing as to what's actually going on, in the best possible way. And it's creepy and horrific and skin-crawling, but these things are used in the service of a really rich narrative about white supremacy, scientific racism and exploitation. Noemi is a really fantastic character whom I found myself rooting for with extra intensity. I've loved Moreno-Garcia's writing I was proud to give a cover quote to this book, and I've been thinking about it ever since. It's one of those books that keeps you guessing as to what's actually going on, in the best possible way. And it's creepy and horrific and skin-crawling, but these things are used in the service of a really rich narrative about white supremacy, scientific racism and exploitation. Noemi is a really fantastic character whom I found myself rooting for with extra intensity. I've loved Moreno-Garcia's writing since Signal to Noise, and this is my favorite book of hers. It was also super interesting to read this book and N.K. Jemisin's The City We Became back-to-back, because they are both deconstructing some of the same tropes and felt like they were in dialogue with each other.

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