Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Well, I tried unsuccessfully to put my facebook video on this here blog, but it wouldn't play nice. So, I'm writing my review. If you're interested in my video review of Mexican Gothic, head on over to @Bookaliciousbabe on Facebook to watch it. 

So, Silvia Moreno-Garcia's previous novel, Gods of Jade and Shadow, was one of my top reads of 2019. I'm always up for a tale of mythology; I loved mythology as a child, and that love has never faded! Now I'm enjoying the plethora of new novels about so many different cultures and their mythology.

Moreno-Garcia takes gothic and puts one heck of a spin on it; I tell people this is gothic horror. And not slasher movie horror, but that horror that seeps into your bones and makes it a little hard to sleep at night. 

So, onto a brief plot summary: Noemi is a smart, beautiful, upper class Mexican living the good life in 1950 Mexico City. She's finishing college and having fun attending parties. Her cousin Catalina sends a letter to Noemi's father that causes some concern: she claims her husband and his family are keeping her locked up, she's seeing things in their home, and she's afraid. So Noemi's father makes a deal with her-if she'll travel to High Place (Catalina's home) and check on her cousin, her father will pay for her to go to school for a Master's degree. Noemi packs her bags and heads to the mountains and High Place. 

High Place is one weird place. Catalina's new family are English, and own silver mines in the region. Those mines are closed down due to the revolution, and the family is hurting financially. Their home--High Place is one dank, damp, moldy and dark place. Definitely gothic. And the family; well, Virgil is coldly handsome (Catalina's husband), Francis is Virgil's cousin and a nice young man; Florence is Francis' mother and the daughter of Howard, the head of the family. Howard is also dying, and quite frankly a hot mess physically. Repulsive would be an understatement. Noemi settles in for a visit, and immediately knows there's something just not right about the place or the people. She also is shocked by Catalina's appearance and behavior. 

Noemi starts having nightmares--they feel completely real, and she wakes up wandering around the house. As she digs into the family history, everything becomes more unsettling and weird--but you have no idea just how unsettling and weird until the last 50 pages or so. 

I can't tell you more, because this is definitely a novel you have to read and discover for yourself. It's also one that you should discuss with others. This is an author to watch--she's on my list of authors I'll immediately read without hesitation. 

Rating: 5/6 for a truly out of bounds novel that combines the best of gothic with a twisty horror story that truly is imaginative. And yes, there is a little bit of ick, so be prepared. 

Available in hardcover ebook, and audio. 

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