Cover Image: The Hacienda

The Hacienda

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Member Reviews

Wow and intense and a bit spooky read yet so we’ll done. We’ll written, evocative, and a creative twist to witches! 

I was hooked from the first page. The writing was so well done and created a window into the past that felt understandable to modern day and yet its own time period as well. 

I have realized more recently that I really enjoy a well-written horror novel that doesn't use gratuitous blood and guts to express itself. This book was like that. There were things mentioned for sure, but they were used in such a way as to incite trepidation at just the right times. It's the way you want/expect to feel when reading a horror novel. 

Note: some language, violence, and use of witchcraft 

My rating: 4.8*

Thanks to the publisher for a free gifted copy. All opinions are my own.
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I loved the story. I loved the setting. I was intrigued. I enjoyed Beatriz character. If you enjoyed Mexican Gothic, this book is right up that alley! Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for the opportunity to read in exchange for a review.
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Beautiful, atmospheric - a triumph and proof that despite being a debut at the time this was written, the author is a write of great skill. Absolutely wonderful. I'd also recommend her short stories, which are also strong in the same ways as the Hacienda: in character, atmosphere and lyricism.
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I had originally DNFd this and I kind of wish I had kept it that way. This book is not objectively bad, but I just feel like I've read variations of this story so many times, and this one did not do anything new with it. Also it made me feel a tad awkward that our villain was born out of wed lock and that our MCs kept bringing that fact up. Being born out of wedlock does not make someone evil.
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For fans of Silvia Moreno-Garcia, this chilling debut has is a much-needed addition to a favorite horror subgenre: the haunted house. Rave reviews and buzz has already poured in from The New York Times and The Washington Post, and with its post-colonial reckoning and a fierce heroine, it definitely appears worthy of the praise.
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A true jewel of Gothic horror. When the tale twists with history, you know it's going to be one hell of a ride.
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I really enjoyed this! 
I loved seeing the representation of Mexican history and culture. I also found the horror and mystery aspect worked well with the deeper topics that were explored. 
I will definitely be picking up anything the author writes next!
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3.5/5!

THE HACIENDA, Isabel Cañas’ debut novel, is the story of one woman trapped in the house of her nightmares. The sanctuary and freedom that Beatriz thinks she has found in Hacienda San Isidro is all a facade for a dark and violent past that has filled the home. 

Cañas wisely chooses to unpack this story through dual narration from Beatriz and a priest that befriends her, Andres. There are also some chapters that go back in time to help reveal more of the history of the home. These chapters and the slow, methodical way that Cañas reveals the truth give the book a tense and eerie feeling. I love the overwhelming sense of dread I felt while reading the first half of this book. I had no idea what was coming and was just as stressed out as Beatriz wondering what would happen in the house next. While I was blown away with the first half of the story, certain twists featured in the second half changed the direction of where I thought things were headed and it left me less satisfied. 

Overall, THE HACIENDA is a brilliant debut that left me eagerly awaiting whatever Cañas publishes next!
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This book was extremely atmospheric and well written. I felt like the pace could have used some tweaks but overall I enjoyed this book and look forward to more from the author.
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Unputdownable and an absolute perfect read for the fall season. It isn’t too late, while the leaves are still falling and before the snow comes (depending where you live) please pick this up. However, I do think this quite perfectly suite the cold, winter season that is faster approaching. 

I purposefully did not read this for a while so I could read it in October, and I do not regret that at all. The Halloween atmosphere only made this tale even spookier, more haunting, and immersive- however, the writing style itself did most of that work. Isabel Canas writing style is bound to captivate audiences no matter the season.
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I loved this book! The mixture of historical fiction, gothic, and horror. The atmosphere and characters were written perfectly.
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The publisher archived the ARC on Netgalley before I could download it to my kindle, leaving me unable to read or review the book.
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I’m not sure The Hacienda knows what type of book it wants to be. Or maybe I expected something different from what I got.

The first half of the book is sluggish. We’re given lots of information on the Mexican government and women’s struggles in the aftermath of their country’s War of Independence. While interesting, I didn’t feel emotionally connected to the content, and after a while it became repetitious.

This was a societal commentary exploring the Mexican women’s plight and old customs pitted against Christianity, but definitely not supernatural suspense, and there was nothing gothic about the setting.

Pacing picks up in the second half, where setting shifts to the gothic feel, and we get the promised supernatural aspect and shades of Rebecca. I enjoyed the way this played out. The house almost comes alive and the reasons behind what happens fascinated me.

Still, pacing was problematic, with lengthy inner monologues and enough foreshadowing that not much came as a surprise.

But this is just my cynical opinion. Lots of readers have loved this one, and you might too.
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This book is billed as Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca- and i have to say, they got that right.  It’s debut supernatural suspense, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence. It’s about a remote house and a sinister haunting, and the woman, Beatriz, who was pulled into it all. 

During the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father was executed and her home was destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise and chooses to take her chances in favor of the security that his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.
 
But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.

When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark the doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano?

Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will save her.

Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to fight off the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda and protect the woman for whom he feels a powerful, forbidden attraction. But even he might not be enough to battle the darkness.

The tension in this book was great! It was genuinely spooky and unsettling, and I loved the ending. I recommend this for spooky season, especially if you want an unsettling story that isn't too gory.
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I am in love with the current Latinx Gothic Horror trend and Isabel Cañas' book The Hacienda is a great addition. Her ability to write atmosphere, the chemistry between her main characters Beatriz and Andrés , the malevolence of the house, were all palpable. My only complaint, and it is a small one, was I felt the transition from past to present a little jarring. I often found myself preferring Andrés' narrative in the past over the present with Beatriz. I love that while The Hacienda played with gothic tropes, it is very much its own unique and rich story. The ending did not surprise, I suppose I've read too many books in this genre not to see the twists coming, so I did appreciate that Cañas did not leave everything neatly. It served her characters well and left me wanting more.
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Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of The Hacienda. This was my kick off book to spooky season and it was the perfect way to start. Think Rebecca meets 1880s Mexico, but with some actual ghosts thrown in. The perfect amount of scary and suspense, with a bit of history and drama. I love stories where the house or location is a central character, and this house, the Hacienda, did not disappoint. The hot priest was an added bonus! Highly recommend!
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What an incredible start to my October reads - this Gothic horror was absolutely everything I was hoping it would be. Intensely atmospheric, thick with description and incisive thinking about colorism, classism, colonialism, religion, and feminism. It's tightly plotted and the whole thing feels like a ticking time bomb, ramping up the dread and the discomfort till you're fit to burst. The comp to REBECCA is simultaneously spot on and just scratching the surface of what this book is. So, so good.
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I really enjoyed The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas! It's a perfect read for spooky season. If you enjoyed Mexican Gothic, you should definitely check out The Hacienda!

After the Mexican War of Independence Beatriz has lost her father and her home, so she marries a rich man, seizing the security of his estate in the countryside. Beatriz is determined to have a home again, but Hacienda San Isidro is far from welcoming. 

Her husband's first wife died under mysterious circumstances, Beatriz is experiencing visions and hearing voices, and it feels like the house is watching her. No one will help her except for the handsome young priest, Padre Andrés. Andrés is willing to use his skills as a witch to combat the malevolent spirit haunting the hacienda.

Cañas' tale is full of forbidden love, a truly creepy house, and intriguing characters. I loved the writing and atmosphere of the book (and the hot priest)! I'd highly recommend this book if you're looking for a haunted house story to read during spooky season!
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Those who prefer ghosts to monsters will enjoy “The Hacienda” by Isabel Cañas, which releases May 3. Although it has been compared to Du Maurier’s “Rebecca,” it is closer to 2020’s “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

Beatriz marries young, handsome widower Rodolfo to escape poverty and her cruel tia’s kitchen. She moves into his hacienda on a remote maguey plantation and soon discovers that no one else is willing to live in the house, and in fact, that the house doesn’t want Beatriz there either.

Young Padre Andrés tries to help Beatriz “heal” the house of the strange voices and apparitions but must hide his native powers from the Inquisition and his fellow priests. He must also hide his feelings for Beatriz.

This title was a fun, chilling read that transports the reader to 1820’s Mexico, just after the Revolution and the social turmoil that followed. Beatriz and Andrés each narrate alternating chapters, including Andrés’s flashbacks to his youth, and why he was banished from the hacienda by Rodolfo’s first wife.
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Readers of Mexican Gothic and new readers alike are going to love this story! The Hacienda is a very immersive, creepy, atmospheric horror novel that.I absolutely loved. The remote Mexican setting along with the Rebecca like story made it so I couldn't put the book down, and I couldn't stop thinking about the book when I sadly did have to put it down. Horror fans need to rush to pick this book up!
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