Mexican Gothic

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Sep 2020

Member Reviews

Mexican Gothic is one of those books that will haunt you for a long time after you have finished it. Silvermans Moreno-Garcia does a wonderful job of making the reader extremely uncomfortable in the most pleasurable way. If you are a fan of gothic classics like Wuthering Heights or if you prefer more modern gothic stories like The Haunting of Hill House, this book will right up your alley. 

Noemí is an amazing character that you can't help fall in love with. She has the Hollywood vixen vibe. She is strong, funny, and doesn't take any shit! The setting of High Place house is disturbing and creepy and everything you want in a gothic and haunting tale. I could not guess what was going to happen from one moment to the next. I love book that keep you second guessing yourself the entire time. Seriously, read this book!!
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Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an advanced reader copy of Mexican Gothic in exchange for an honest review.

Mexican Gothic is excellent. It is equal measures beautiful and intense. It is intensely, oppressively atmospheric all the way through. It has a sense of building tension that is slow yet unyielding, exploding into a horrific climax. Mexican Gothic starts like Wuthering Heights and ends like The Shining.

Mexican Gothic follows Noemí Taboada, a rich girl from Mexico City, on a mission to check on her cousin Catalina. Catalina married the mysterious Englishman Virgil Doyle after a secret courtship a year prior, and has lived in the isolated Doyle family home ever since. She might as well have fallen off the face of the Earth, until Noemí’s father receives a disturbing letter begging for help. Noemí sets off to the remote Victorian mansion known as High Place to discover just what has befallen Catalina, and hopefully to save them both from a horrific fate.

As a setting, High Place matches Wuthering Heights, Thornfield Hall, Hill House, or the Overlook Hotel. At first glance, it is a lavish Victorian mansion set on a beautiful mountaintop. It is filled with the evidence of past glory - old silver, walls covered in paintings, luxurious curtains, a private cemetery, and a greenhouse. It would be picturesque, if not for the ubiquitous signs of decay. The silence is stifling, and you can almost smell the mold while reading. It offers that sense of lavish discomfort and disquieting mystery common to Gothic romances. The atmosphere in Mexican Gothic starts strong and never lets up. 

Nothing in Mexican Gothic feels quite right, including the characters. The Doyle family is strange. Nothing adds up. It is an old money family fallen on hard times. Why do they refuse to leave High Place? Why do they insist on living in silence? Why are they so reluctant to get a second opinion on Catalina’s health? Their thin veneer of civility does not completely hide the sinister secrets underneath. The Doyles are excellent villains for this story.

I do not think the average reader will be to predict the truth behind the Doyles and High Place. I certainly could not. Mexican Gothic goes boldly into territory I did not expect. It played with expectations of the genre masterfully. Like the best revelations, it was unexpected ahead of time and perfectly consistent afterward. I really enjoyed the surprise.

The Mexican setting is refreshing. Author Silvia Moreno-Garcia excels at infusing her Mexican heritage into familiar genres to create original stories. The interplay between the English Doyles and Mexican Taboadas and townsfolk is key to this story. This little piece of England feels all the more wrong in Mexico. And you cannot forget that the story is in Mexico. Cultural and historical details are subtly and naturally weaved throughout the story. These details make Mexican Gothic meaningfully stand out from the pack in the Gothic romance genre.

I loved Mexican Gothic. I took my time getting immersed in this story, in this setting. I put on a creepy atmospheric soundtrack and let the book take me away. I highly recommend Mexican Gothic for fans of Gothic romance and horror.
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Wow! I was truly absorbed in this book from beginning to end. i enjoyed the variety of well rounded characters all serving their individual purposes to create a complete novel. The book is eerie, hypnotic, and completely captivating. I always appreciate the lengths that authors go to to intertwine detailed information to make their story that much more powerful, this is how I felt with the knowledge and power the mushrooms held in this story. Amazing book I am now going to begin Gods of Jade and Shadow
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This was beautifully written and I was hooked from the beginning. The author does a wonderful job of setting a spooky atmosphere. Gothic is quite accurate to describe the feeling of this book.
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Woah! I am not a horror reader, but picked this up because it came so highly recommended. Consider me a convert! I can’t wait to read this authors backlist.
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This book was just not for me.  I found it very bizarre.  Maybe I went in with the wrong expectation of the book but with the title "Mexican Gothic" I guess I wanted more Mexican history and culture.  It was very void of this.  Also, the fairy tale references seemed very forced.
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Mexican Gothic is so beautifully written. The descriptions in this book are *chef's kiss* I felt like the story dragged at some points, but overall I liked it. If you enjoy books involving the paranormal, I would definitely check this out.
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Noemi is a jet-setting girl in Mexico City.  SHe loves the fashion and the world and she has been known to attract a beau or two.  When she is called into her fathers office one night to find that her cousin Catalina who was recently married, has sent a letter detailing what can only be described as madness, her father sends her to High Place in El Triufo Mexico to investigate what might be going on with her cousin.

After reading Gods of Jade and Shadow with so much anticipation only to be disappointed I was hesistant at first to even give this book a try, however I really am glad I did.  This was redemption in my eyes for that book, and I really enjoyed all the intrigue as well as the twists and turns of this book, I really did not expect the ending and what really was going on.  It went a lot more supernatural than I expected.

What I didnt like about this book:

What made me rate this down to 4 stars was really  that I normally just dont enjoy a gothic romance novel, and the first part of the book really feels like that is what it is.  There was a lot intrigue and things that kept me reading the book, but until the last 100 pages it didnt really hook me in.  Once things startee getting really dark and weird it really started to make me want to read this book more and more.

What I liked about this book:

I loved the world building, it really made me feel like this was Ms Moreno-Garcias ode to all those old gothic novels but really turning it on its head, and adding the mexican flair that she is known for in her books.

The characters started to feel real towards the end, to the point where you were rooting for them to get out , and you really wanted the people responsible for her issues to not have a happy ending.

Overall a solid gothic horror novel 4 stars
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I'm a longtime fan of gothic novels, and even though the genre has fallen out of vogue in recent decades, I whenever a new gothic is released, I typically snatch it off the shelf (even when it's a virtual shelf). I was intrigued by the book's premise, which takes the typical ingredients of the gothic novel and transports them to Mexico--a nice change of venue for a genre that is almost always set in Cornwall.

The story focuses on Noemi, a 1950's debutante, who has received a desperate letter from her cousin Catalina after marrying into a wealthy family that resides in the Mexican countryside. Noemi rushes to be with her cousin, whose new family live in a fabulous (haunted) mansion and have all the gothic hallmarks--the domineering patriarch, the handsome and arrogant husband, the dead aunts glaring down from their portraits. But the novel takes things a step further than the traditional gothic stories that the Bronte sisters made famous, and introduces some elements of supernatural horror.

If you're a fan of the movie CRIMSON PEAK, you'll probably enjoy MEXICAN GOTHIC. There are some wonderfully scary scenes in the book that kept me flipping through the pages late into the night.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Let Silvia Moreno-Garcia's forthcoming novel, Mexican Gothic, whisk you away to the mountains and countrysides of Mexico, to a haunted mansion atop a silver mine. Set in the 1950s, our protagonist Noemi, a tenacious Mexico City socialite a la Grace Kelly, is sent to the mansion to help her cousin Catalina after receiving a distraught letter asking to be saved from "the restless dead, ghosts, flesh-less things" that will not let her go. The house and its inhabitants are hiding a dark secret, and Noemi must discover the truth before it's too late. Written with a strong sense of place and ideal pacing, fans of Stranger Things, the Bronte sisters, and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier will love this suspenseful and spooky read.
I would say a 3 1/2, while I loved the sense of place and the story itself, some of the writing felt forced. Also, I feel like Catalina should have played a bigger role? I would have liked to have heard more from her.
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Noemi Taboada is a society girl in 1950 Mexico City who dreams about getting her master’s degree in anthropology. When her family receives a disturbing letter from a favorite cousin, Noemi’s father makes her an offer: go investigate her ailing cousin, and he’ll allow her to go to grad school. Of course she accepts. What could possibly go wrong? 

High Place is a worn-down English manor secluded in the distant Mexican countryside, and Noemi immediately senses something amiss. Mist shrouds the house and grounds in a clammy white veil. Dampness seeps into every room, mold growing on walls and books. It’s always cold. The family is strict, quiet, and mean. Noemi’s cousin swings from listlessness to panic to possible psychosis, and the doctor doesn’t seem to help. Something is happening at High Place, and Noemi is determined to uncover its secrets before she, too, falls victim to its madness. 

I loved Mexican Gothic from the very first page. The story is cinematic, from Noemi’s night out in Mexico City to the dreary, claustrophobic High Place, and I can totally imagine it as a movie from the 1950’s. High Place has the overbearing presence of Wuthering Heights or Manderley, its atmosphere a “wrongness” that smothers everything good in the world. I was terrified and I loved it. 

As much as the story reminded me of other gothic horror novels, VC Andrews, Henry James, The Yellow Wallpaper, it’s absolutely necessary for it to occur in Mexico. Colonization, revolution, the English family’s obsession with eugenics (to the point where they brought their own English dirt to Mexico, which was very Dracula of them), even the rights Noemi and her cousin did and didn’t have as Mexican women are integral to the story. Noemi is now easily one of my favorite heroines. 

I can’t wait to buy a copy when it’s published. I want Silvia Moreno-Garcia to be able to create more books that haunt me. 

Rating: Five stars. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey for providing a copy of the book.
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Not my usual fare but into the world of the haunted is where this book took me. A silver mining family lives in a house that has a hold on the residents. A mexican cousin , recently a bride, has sent a disturbing letter pleading for help. Our heroine is sent by her family to check on the bride and what unfolds is a horrific, sensous, suspenseful acid trip of a ride through a family's dark history.

Copy provided by the publisher
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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is an amazing book that gripped me from the first to last page. I easily devoured it in 2 days. 

How can I even describe this book? It is part general fiction part mystery part gothic part psychological thriller part romance part horror part historical fiction. It has moments where there is the slow, torturous climb to something big (you just know it), and like a roller coaster, you teeter on the edge before plummeting into the depths of a quick twist, turn, and move.  

The whole concept of Noemi heading to this dark, musty, moldy haunted home where it almost seems like it has a life of its own to find out what has happened to her cousin, only to he thrown into the mystery and horror as well, is just fabulous. There were moments that I checked my pulse because it felt like my heart was pounding out of my chest, and others that I felt myself gripping the armrest trying to aid in the fight. 

This book has everything: creative plot, awesome 1950s Mexico time and location, amazing mystery and intrigue, wonderful characters ( I looooove Francis and Noemi), a bit of romance tossed in, and I LOVED the ending. It was so perfect. 

So original. So amazing. One of my favorites this year for sure! 

5/5 stars

Thank you NetGalley and Random House- Ballantine/Del Ray for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.
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I love a good gothic-style novel and this one checks all the right boxes. Noemi is a young socialite with a flair for flirtation, dancing, impulsive decision making, and a touch of rebellion. At the beginning of the novel, Noemi’s father receives a strange letter from Catalina, Noemi’s recently wedded cousin. The letter leaves him questioning Catalina’s state of mind so he asks Noemi to travel to High Place in order to check on Noemi with the promise that he will allow Noemi to attend anthropology school if she complies. Upon arrival at High Place, Noemi is greeted by a secretive and quietly sinister cast of characters with strange traditions. She soon comes to believe she is descending into madness much like her cousin Catalina as she discovers that the mansion is shrouded by long-standing tragedy and mystery. The plot incorporates dreams, hallucinations, poisonous mushrooms, folk remedies, eugenics, human sacrifice, and a bit of romance. While the plot setup and atmospheric descriptions were enthralling, I found the story to drag a bit towards the middle. Thankfully, it picked back up during the last third or so of the book and ended with a homerun. In true gothic style, the author’s fantastic use of description to create a bizarre, creepy, and ominous atmosphere makes the book well worth reading.
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Thanks to Random Publishing House and Netgalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review

This felt like a love letter to every horror novel. If you love horror you will need to have this in your collection. 
The tension and creepiness just astounds and builds leaving you to feel winded. I would advise to read this not during a pandemic when everyone is quarantined. In the story we are in an old moldy house with a hostile family.  

Our main Character Noemí receives a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí  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. 

Noemi is strong and stubborn and she continues to stay for her cousin even though she knows something isn’t right about this family, or this house. 

I really found the imagery and the metaphor very poignant.
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3.5 stars

Noemí Taboada is sent by her father to High Place after receiving a letter from her recently married cousin, Catalina. Her cousin's letter in unsettling and her father hopes Neomi can help her cousin and bring back answers as to her cousin's mental status.

Noemí arrives at the distant home called High Place. Her husband's family lives there, and she doesn't know them at all, but it doesn't take long for her to know that something isn't quite right with them. Talk about pushy, demanding. and controlling.  It becomes crystal clear that her cousin has changed since her marriage.  She has moments of clarity and moments where she is clearly not herself. Plus, her cousin's husband, Virgil and his family do not want Noemí bringing in outside doctors or taking her cousin to seek medical attention elsewhere.  Not only that, but they also limit the amount of time she is able to visit with her cousin.  Strange....hmmm

High points for originality.  This book is creepy with a capital "C".  Soon the you-know-what begins to hit the fan and this freakshow of a family begins to show their true colors.  There is a saying " you can't choose your family" but this family would disagree.

This book is dark, creepy, atmospheric and chilling. The descriptions are very vivid, and I could easily see this book playing out in my mind. I could see this book being a movie. I did wish for the pacing to be a little faster at times. There were parts where I felt as if I were trapped in High place and wanted to escape myself. 

Overall, very original, dark, atmospheric, chilling and just plain strange at times.

Thank you to Random House Publishing- Ballantine Del Rey and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Crimson Peak meets Annihilation in Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s newest gothic novel. While the Gods of Jade and Shadow remains my all-time favorite novel, Mexican Gothic did not disappoint. 

We head back to the beautiful country of Mexico in the 1950’s, to a hillside mansion modeled after the English countryside. Our heroine, Noemi, is strong willed and intelligent but also flawed by her own hubris. Beseeched by her father, she sets out to save her cousin, Catalina, after a letter arrives highlighting her deteriorating mental state. Upon arriving at High Place, Noemi’s psyche begins to unravel as she is tested by the spirits that haunt the Victorian mansion. She begins to alternate between questioning her own intelligence and her surroundings. Could the house be as malevolent as Catalina described? As with Gods of Jade and Shadow, Moreno spares no detail into building suspense and crafting a dark world filled with shadows lurking in corners. The victorian house and the rundown village are a classic setting for gothic novels but it is juxtaposed against the sunny countryside of Pachuca, Mexico. Interspersed with references to Grim’a dark fairy tale, the heroine encounters horror of the worst possible kind at the hands of her captors. 

I really enjoyed Mexican Gothic for its innovative plot and setting. As a fan of horror in general, it’s pretty difficult to think of a thrill that hasn’t been done before. Moreno manages to weave a fresh tale of gothic horror using a very unique prop. At the center this tale is Ouroboros, the World Serpent, a symbol of life and death and is prevalent throughout our tale. While the plot is focused on the gothic mystery, there is a little nod to romance. However, don’t expect Wuthering Heights or Daphne. That said, if this sounds like a book you would love—order a copy today! You won’t regret it. 

Also I don’t know if I have just been following the news too closely recently but I pictured Howard Doyle (the patriarch) as Harvey Weinstein and that just made him even more ghastly.

5 stars to Mexican Gothic.
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Silvia Moreno-Garcia takes the classic tropes of a Gothic novel: remote, moldering house owned by an eccentric family full of secrets and a cursed past and a curious young heroine intent on uncovering those secrets.

Noemí Taboada is a progressive, opinionated, wealthy young woman. Her father sends her off to the remote aforementioned creepy old house to check on her cousin Catalina. Catalina, an orphan, who married into the eccentric family, has fallen ill. Noemi, colorful and loud, is the opposite of the family Catalina’s married into. The more the family tries to hide their secrets from Noemi, the more determined she is to unearth them.

Full of atmospheric descriptions of a mist enshrouded cemetery, unspoken family tragedies, mysterious symbols and repressive rules.

Thanks to Del Rey and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Silvia Moreno-Garcia can do anything. Mexican Gothic is completely different from any of her or the books, with an entry into gothic horror that doesn’t shy away from a truly spooky, bloody, dark narrative. Look, this is not a genre that I would usually dive into, but Moreno-Garcia has created something that’s impossible to look away from!

The story follows socialite, spunky and strong willed, Noemi as she ventures into a small Mexican town to find out what is happening with her cousin, Catalina, who had sent a panicked letter describing strange happenings in her new husbands rickety old mansion. The dread slowly builds as you get to know the other family members residing in this version of 13 Dead End Drive (did anyone play the board game other than me???). Each character has their own particular brand of creepiness, with the exception being shy, odd Francis - the family’s youngest son. This cast of characters and the meticulous description of the house as an active part of the story makes me see this as a perfect future Guillermo del Toro movie (or maybe it just reminds me of Crimson Peak!)

There is one major twist that I saw coming from about halfway thru the book, and I am notoriously bad at guessing things - but I’m unfamiliar with this genre and it might be a regular trope. I also didn’t think that the ending fully stuck it for me, but I didn’t want it to end! If you’re looking for something that will haunt your dreams at night, and is beautifully told, pick this book up!  Thank you NetGalley for the e-ARC, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This was one of my most anticipated reads for the year, and it didn’t disappoint!
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This was the creepiest and weirdest book I've read so far this year. WHAT A WILD RIDE.

Imagine it's the 1950's, you're driving through a small town, up a winding hill, through some rusty gates and through the fog you see a huge Gothic mansion... with a VERY troubled past.

Silvia has an outstanding way with setting a mood. Every bit of her writing and setting comes together into this dreamy, Gothic sense that pervades absolutely every bit of the book. It’s enchanting really and helps catch the reader up and make the strange world within convincing. What is so terrific in this novel is the intricately woven back story to the reckoning. The cryptic but riveting manner with which the passing of time is described had me enchanted. It was, in a way, full of desperation and longing, though strangely beautiful

This is a plot and mystery driven novel. In addition to the alarming present happenings, there's a mysterious past that Noemí has yet to unscramble, and a future that remains grimly uncertain. I loved that she's not supposed to be likable. She's very vain and she knows it and being surrounded by a mysterious family who are incredibly strict:
1. Absolute silence! (especially during dinner)
2. No driving down to the local town
3. No smoking
4. No lighting (better keep curtains closed)
5. No hot water during baths
6. Be a respectful young lady

It lead's her to become feisty, with numerous confrontations and rebellious acts and you can't help but root for her and hope she finds the answers she seeks. Also on the subject of balance, with all the eeriness and horror, I was glad to have some sweet moments of awkward, youthful romance to lighten things up. Don't expect a passion-filled, all-encompassing love story. It's a simple, yet sweet romance that leaves you smiling.

Come to Mexican Gothic for the dark and creepy, and you shall likely leave satisfied.
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