A new spin on gothic. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia [Review]

This book right here has taken bookstagram (the book community on instagram) by storm. It has been popping up on feeds left and right. Although I’ve seen a general positive feedback for this book, I’ve tried not to read too many details on reviews as I didn’t want anyone’s review or opinion to influence mine.

Plot

1950’s, Mexico. Noemi’s father receives a disturbing letter from her cousin Catalina who was recently married to an Englishman. The letter alludes to trouble and possibly an unstable mind. Noemi’s father sends her off to investigate to see what is going on with her cousin and her new husband, Virgil, which refuses help from the outside. As Noemi’s stay in High Place, the family mansion belonging to Virgil’s family, is prolonged, she starts noticing strange things along with dreams of death. Could High Place be haunted? Is her cousin going insane? Will Noemi be next? Virgil and his family won’t make it easy for Noemi to get to the bottom of what’s going on.

Elements of Gothic Literature

-The setting and ambiance

Set in an isolated old house surrounded by mist and a nearby graveyard, High Place hits creepy setting spot on.

-Mystery, dark omens, possible haunting and curse
-Possible romance and feelings of entanglement
-The hero or heroine

Noemi is a rich, flighty Mexican heiress. She is somewhat vain but don’t let her looks and her party-girl attitude fool you, she is intelligent and stubborn. I actually liked the combination of Noemi’s personality traits. She can be superficial at times with brains and a longing for something deeper than cocktail parties and flirting with men she doesn’t really like.

My thoughts

I hadn’t really read too much about the book, only that it was a Mexican inspired gothic novel. So I was a bit misled when it turned out that it was really Mexican characters inserted into an English gothic novel setting. That was perhaps my fault. Still, there are elements of Mexican culture integrated into the book which is really why I picked this up. The pacing is a bit slow at first as it takes a while to set everything up, the house’s history, the mystery behind Catalina’s ailment, the haunting. What follows is something you don’t see coming and is wonderfully morbid and creepy. The book is well-written and I liked the author’s style.

For a fresh new take on the gothic novel, you should definitely read this! Head over to my Instagram for the full video clip. I gave this one 4 out of 5!

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