Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
★ ★ ★ ★ Loved it!
A ghostly story about culture and race, with romance around the corner, and tinged darkly with a few gruesome details. Silvia Moreno-Garcia has created a modern classic that is sure to exist among the Brontes for years to come.
Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a secluded mansion on a mountain in the Mexican countryside. Typically, Noemí would be spending her nights with suitors and attending parties, but she’s been tasked by her father to visit her cousin, once vivacious and imaginative, who has recently moved to High Place with her new husband and his family. After a strange and concerning letter from the newlywed, Noemí wants to make sure that her cousin’s seemingly charming husband is what he appears to be.
Once in the folds of High Place, Noemí can’t help but wonder about the strange state of her cousin, who is detached, claims that there are ghosts in the walls, and that her husband is trying to poison her. Noemí becomes even more suspicious of the house and the family as she learns the rumors around town about strange sicknesses at the house, a curse, and the family doctor who never seems to be able to actually heal anyone.
The novel reads a bit like Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. The spooky house, and the rigid ideas about proper society and etiquette, with a strong female character determined to push boundaries, are distinctly Bronte-esque. The main character, Noemí, is beautiful, flirtatious, determined, and looking for something deeper in life than finding a husband and looking pretty. She’s inquisitive and fiercely protective of her family, which makes her the perfectly complex character able to uncover the truth about High Place.
The first half moves along slowly, but the beautiful writing, culture, and notes of romance carried me through to the second half, where all hell broke loose. The thing is that you aren’t expecting such a beautifully written first half to take such a drastic and dark turn. There’s a twist, a vicious back story, and more than a few gruesome details. Somehow the first and second half balance out in perfect harmony. I absolutely LOVED IT!
Click here to purchase Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
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