Mexican Gothic

Hardcover, 301 pages

English language

Published June 30, 2020 by Del Rey.

ISBN:
978-0-525-62078-5
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
1121602979

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (113 reviews)

From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes this reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel, a story about an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico--and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside, unsure what she will find. Noemí is an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, more suited to cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough, smart, and not afraid: not of her cousin’s new English husband, a stranger who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemí’s dreams with visions of blood and doom. …

5 editions

Gothic horror + biting satire of colonisers

5 stars

This ended up being the third of 4 stories I read this year that were all variations on the Fall of the House of Usher (including the original), and I think it's my favourite. The slow pace with which the protagonist (and by extension us the readers) learn what exactly is up with the house felt realistic and made for great tension because there's such a long period in which it's clear that something is Very Wrong but not what it is. And along the way Moreno-Garcia gets in some choice digs about what colonisers are and do, including to themselves and each other. Deliciously gruesome.

#SFFBookClub May 2023

Terrifying in an all too real way

5 stars

This is objectively the better "fungus manipulates people" book, the more literary one, and I love it but I don't see it being a book that I pick up over and over again to read in the way Kingfisher's could be. Perhaps because the real monsters in the story are the people, and they're a very real sort of monster that we're dealing with in the world today.

That said, it is very much worth at least one read, and is an excellent novel filled with suspense and gothic horror.

Mexican Gothic

4 stars

It was interesting to read this book so soon after reading What Moves the Dead. I can see why Ursula Vernon wrote about it in her afterword as being a similar setup and recommended that everybody go read it immediately.

The book itself is immensely creepy and I found it very compelling. The plot setup is that socialite Noemí is asked by her powerful father to go investigate what's going on with her cousin Catalina's marriage in an isolated rural mansion. The creepy atmosphere is spectacularly well done: a decrepit remote mansion, very little electricity, locked windows, strange dreams, family secrets, suspicious local history, the overly strict housekeeper with too many rules (silence! no hot baths! no coffee!), also the household's obsession with eugenics and "superior races".

The book's pacing was excellent for me. There is a slow build of mystery and unexplainable occurrences. Backstory is slowly revealed, but there's …

Review of 'Mexican Gothic' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Mir war es wieder ein bisschen zu gründlich erklärt, "genau so und so hängt der ganze Horror technisch zusammen". Aber sonst keine Einwände, es war schön, mal eine selbstbewusste Protagonistin zu haben, die sich nur ganz gelegentlich mal einwickeln und in Selbstzweifel verstricken lässt und danach gleich wieder merkt, was da mit ihr passiert.

Ich glaube, es ist das erste Buch, das ich gelesen habe, in dem die Protagonistin am Ende mit einem schwächlichen und unauffälligen Mann zusammen ist. So geht es nämlich wirklich mit den starken Protagonistinnen, nicht so wie überall sonst, wo sie am Ende doch den nimmt, der sie mit seinen starken Armen beschützt und zufällig auch noch sehr schön ist.

Es war offenbar Zufall, dass ich jetzt direkt nacheinander drei Bücher gelesen habe, die alle drei von britischen Monsterhäusern handeln (What Moves the Dead, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, und das hier), zwei davon …

Review of 'Mexican Gothic' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

3.5/5

This was a hard book to review. I really liked the first 3/4 of the book. The creepy atmosphere, the old mansion and moldy walls, the mystery of the illness and the clearly unstable family that is hiding a big secret. I really liked the overall feel and how Noemi slowly starts to succumb to the strangeness of the house as time passes. I thought that was well done and you can see how her usual happy sassiness begins to fade and the anxiety takes over.

I was able to guess the general twist of the mystery fairly early on, which is okay. I’ve aneen the general trip before and I enjoyed it. However the actual reveal of it at the 3/4 mark felt very abrupt and almost sloppy.

Suddenly there was a lot of history dumping and explanations that just really changed the tone from an actual gothic …

Lush and Atmospheric

4 stars

Mareno-Garcia presents a lush and atmospheric excursion into the gothic genre. Noemí Taboada is a wealthy strong-willed Mexican socialite who finds herself playing the uncanny hero after receiving a bewildering letter from her cousin, Catalina. The letter propels Noemí to travel to her cousin’s new home, High Place – an isolated English-style mansion – to check on Catalina’s mysterious behavior. Noemi is greeted by moldy wallpaper and in-laws bent on eugenics. Her stay at High Place only feels more and more menacing with each passing night as the unimaginable horrors become more and more richly detailed. Recommended for avid horror or suspense readers who just finished and loved “The Death of Jane Larence” by Caitlin Startling or “Tripping Arcadia” by Kit Mayquist for the creepy underpinnings and culturally diverse characters.

Review of 'Mexican Gothic' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

3.5 stars, maybe even 4?

There are so many things I really enjoyed about this book: it is truly, deliciously creepy. The main character is a strong, interesting woman. The story provides insightful commentary on colonialism and patriarchy; horror is extremely effective for this (and body horror, especially, wrt feminism and patriarchy). Language is highly stylized and it really works with this story. The cover, wow, those rich and saturated colors!

The twist was dumb. It didn't work for me and destroyed all the creepy tension the book had successfully built up over the first 2/3. I continued to enjoy the rest of the book, but it felt extremely different with the tension deflated.

Still, I'm looking forward to reading more of this author's books.

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