This book had so much hype surrounding it, and I had to get my hands on it! I don’t know much about the gothic genre or of the culture in 1950s Mexico, but I really enjoyed this book. There are so many layers to this book, I think that anyone could really get into it. I was drawn to this book because it is spooky season, and I have always loved reading and learning about different cultures. I have also been getting into scary books lately, and I heard that Mexican Gothic would for sure give you the creeps. This is more psychological than gory, but still good! I heard that Hulu will be making this into a limited series, so if that’s true, I am totally down!
Trigger Warning: There’s allusions to rape.
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.
Below may contain some spoilers.
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I absolutely love the world that Silvia Moreno-Garcia created! I was able to see inside the house and all of the darkness. With wallpaper that was outdated and probably peeling and long narrow with paintings of the family, the old walls were so visible in my head. I could actually feel how creepy the Doyles were. This book had me guessing at what was going to happen and what the Doyles were up to. There were so many themes in Mexican Gothic , and one of the creepiest was actually the incest and wanting their blood to be pure. I feel like there should have been much more wrong with this family with the amount of inset there was, but maybe the mushrooms helped. This book is creepy beyond words, including the romance between Francis and Noemí. I still think she should have ended up with the doctor, but Francis was good too.
I thought Mexican Gothic was going to scare me, but it really only creeped me out. I still love it, but I needed a little more. The Doyles were supposed to be English, but I often forgot because they sounded very American. I also was expecting the house to be a little more involved. The house itself wasn’t really haunted; it was growing in the walls that caused everything to happen, which was a little bit of a letdown, but also made it a little more interesting! The book was VERY slow until about page 150-200. It starts to pick up, but everything happens at the end.
If you like creepy, this is a book for you! I would say it’s 18+ due to some of the sexual things. It’s a really good book for someone who wants to ease themselves into horror books. I also think it is the perfect book if you really want to be spooked, but not entirely scared. This will, for sure, go on my favorite fall books list.
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