Cover Image: The Hacienda

The Hacienda

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Haunted house? Check. Fascinating characters? Check. Gorgeous writing? Check. Read this book. It’s not as gross as Mexican Gothic and does have Rebecca vibes. I loved it.
Was this review helpful?
Talk about creepy. I would 100% not read this in the dark or by yourself lol.  Haunted house, swoony priest, creepy people, noises, ghosts etc. i mean this book had it all. The storytelling was gripping and as the story unfolded you just needed a little more. I think it also did a great job in portraying what post war Mexico looked like a how women had to take on roles they hadn’t before. If you like spooky, with a little history, and a dash of forbidden love - this one is for you!
Was this review helpful?
I did like this one, but I called it way too early. I did like the mix of themes of Rebecca and Mexican Gothic. I loved both of those books. I would still recommend this one, but it was missing something for me. It started out really spooky and kind of scary and then it just fell off somewhere. I found the ending a bit anti-climatic, and I did not care for the ending honestly. I wanted more of a twist or something and it just didn't happen.

Thank you so much @netgalley for this advanced reader's copy for an honest review
Was this review helpful?
Pays homage to Daphne du Maurier and Shirley Jackson, with a setting in the Mexican countryside just after Mexico’s War of Independence. Beatriz has ambitions. Upon entering a loveless marriage with a mysterious hacienda owner, she fully intends to make Hacienda San Isidro her own. The hacienda’s Gothic manse, however, and the spirits that possess it, have other, more sinister intentions. Beatriz will grow to depend on Andres, the young priest who was raised on the hacienda among the servant families, to help her deal with the house. Andres, however, is holding back his own secrets. Isabel Cañas nails the Gothic horror tone, pacing, and doomed romance. Plus she succeeds in a setting that allows Mexican-American readers to see themselves represented in genre fiction and that brings to light themes of the period: the casta system, colonialism, the dynamics of land owners and those who actually live on and work that land, oppressive religion, and women’s struggles to steer their own destinies. I highly recommend this novel to Gothic horror fans. It’s a worthy addition to the genre.
Was this review helpful?
I found this book fascinating from beginning to end! 
There’s a mix of a forbidden romance, historical fiction, a creepy gothic like atmosphere and ghost story in this suspense novel.
This book was straight up my alley, it’s a little bit of a slow burn and I think it was on point for this plot.
So, Beatriz who has recently  married Rodolfo  moves into Hacienda San Isidro. Shortly there after Rodolfo leaves to go to work at the capital. Beatriz is feeling uncomfortable , she’s hearing things and she’s definitely unsettled. She asks a young priest for help. So much suspense building as dark secrets are exposed.

This is one book that will keep you turning the pages.
Was this review helpful?
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗣𝗹𝗼𝘁 
⭐Two years after Mexico’s fight for independence and with her father executed and their family home destroyed, Beatriz and her mother are destitute.
⭐Beatriz marries the wealthy Don Rodolfo Solórzano and moves to his family estate, Hacienda San Ysidro
⭐Beatriz experiences strange, eerie occurrences within the house. She notices the staff behaves oddly around her, and no one is forthcoming with what is wrong with the house --or that they believe her.
⭐After the hauntings increase in intensity, a terrified Beatriz seeks out the help of a priest, Andres – a man who has secrets of his own

𝗧𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀
I was swept away by the Hacienda. Isabel Cañas has created an atmospheric, haunting, romantic story set in the aftermath of Mexico’s fight for Independence from Spain.

The story is told from the POV of Beatriz, a newly married second wife determined to make Hacienda San Ysidro her home, and Andrés, a handsome young priest with a dark, mysterious past.

The Hacienda weaves an imagined religion into a suspenseful story alternating between two timelines that will eventually reveal the horrific secrets the house keeps. I admit I sped through the back story chapters to get back to the anxiety-inducing, frightening present day.

This book also incorporates the ugly aftermath left after hundreds of years of Spanish rule in Mexico: a huge wealth divide, a caste system based on skin color, disdain towards mestizos, and mestizas (mix-raced). Beatriz is subject to comments on her skin color being too dark and warned to stay out of the sun.
Was this review helpful?
Ideal for fans of haunted house horror and heroines who scream right back at the monsters.
Beatriz only marries Rodolfo because "Our relationship was founded on one thing and one thing only: my world was a dark, windowless room, and he was a door." She is overjoyed to leave the home of her arrogant and harsh relatives where she has been working as a servant to join her new husband on the maguey hacienda his family has owned for several generations.
But the hacienda is not the paradise she hoped. She encounters microaggressions from the fairer-complected upper class neighbors, cagey distrust from the domestic staff, and open hostility from her new sister-in-law. Her husband returns to the capitol alone for business and she finds herself alone and friendless. 
The haunting begins that night with a chest full of blood.
Beatriz turns to local priest Padre Andres to cleanse the home of malevolent spirits. From this point on, the story alternates POV between Beatriz and Andres, whose witchy heritage and family ties allow him to more deeply sense and interact with the home. Andres is a powerful witch by birth and a devout Catholic priest by choice, and uses his abilities to bless the local residents and his position within the church to hide from the Inquisition.
While Beatriz does require Andres's help, she is no frail flower -- she quite regularly stares down the haunting and grits her way through its torment. When she walks directly into dangerous situations, it's not with the naivety that kills off characters in scary movies, it is with the grim determination of a soldier entering battle. I cheered for her and laughed out loud when she would get cheeky with the spooks. 

I had a hard time putting this book down. 

It strongly reminded me of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Mexican Gothic but I'm not complaining. I would read a hundred more books like these. Will someone keep on writing them, pretty please?

arc received for review
Was this review helpful?
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas is a wonderfully written blend of historical fiction and gothic horror! 

After Beatriz loses her father and her home in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, she marries the handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano. Beatriz believes that Rodolfo and his estate in the countryside will give her security. But when strange things start happening, she begins to realize Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.

This was a highly enjoyable debut! The writing was so descriptive, vivid, and atmospheric that Hacienda San Isidro came alive. It certainly creeped me out! I’ve never read a book with a priest/witch as a character, so that added a unique twist. The author also seamlessly wove historical elements of racism, classism, and sexism into this creepy, disturbing, and suspenseful story. I can’t wait to see what Cañas comes up with next!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley, Berkley Books, and Ms. Cañas for the opportunity to read an ARC of Book of Night. An honest review was requested but not required.

I have not read Mexican Gothic, which is one of the “readalikes” mentioned in conjunction with Hacienda, but I have read Rebecca and I definitely think that comparison is apt. I wish I had read this book in October: it had the exact right read-with-my-light-on vibe. I may or may not have left lights on all night for a few days in a row while reading.

I found the start to be a bit slow, but the writing was just beautiful. (I have the WORST cravings for Mexican food now.) I thought the house was easily the best “character” of the book. I really don’t want to get specific, because the story is best read without much background. Even the blurb, I felt, was too much information. Don’t read reviews, don’t try and get details beforehand, just let the magic (and the goosebumps) happen naturally. Highly recommended, 4 1/2 stars.
Was this review helpful?
Describing this book as a mix between Mexican Gothic and Rebecca was spot on. This book definitely had creepy vibes. However, it was not the book for me. I found it quite slow. I almost DNF'd it several times but kept forcing myself to read because I was part of a book tour for it. It was very hard to stay focused on this book. Maybe I will try the audiobook version and see if I like it any better.
Was this review helpful?
In The Hacienda, sanctuary is but an illusion. Vengeance hisses and unfurls cold, skeletal truth. 

Canas' debut is, without a doubt, my favorite read of 2022 so far. 

Full Review Coming to Cemetery Dance Magazine!
Was this review helpful?
One of my favorite books this year is The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas. Set a few years after the Mexican War of Independence, it provided the perfect backdrop for a historical horror fiction. The people were still reeling from the effects of the war; and the divide between rich and poor were all the more evident. Coming from a country that was colonized by Spaniards for 400 years, I can certainly appreciate this novel - the casta system, the prejudice against mestizos and mestizas, and the ever pressing need to be light-skinned/fair. The characters were also interesting for me: Beatriz, who I admired for taking hold of her future by marrying someone she didn’t love but would provide for her and her mother; Padre Andrés, who came to terms with his innate gift as a witch despite the fear of Inquisition; and the Hacienda, with its own sinister and mysterious personality! I love that the author made Hacienda San Isidro its own entity, with feelings and ghastly attitude — it sure reminded me of Amityville! Que horror!!! The book was described as a cross between Rebecca and Mexican Gothic, and I quite agree. They all had atmospheric settings with slow burn suspense build up plus beautiful prose. However, this book is extra scary with its supernatural elements. I was both entertained and captivated right from the start. Love all the creepy moments and goosebumps-inducing exorcisms! As for the finale, I liked that it ended in a realistic manner, rather than a rushed HEA. I also appreciated the author’s notes at the end of the book. It made me understand the story more. All in all, I would recommend this book, especially to historical and horror fans who aren’t faint of heart.😉 My rating: 🔖🔖🔖🔖.5/5
Was this review helpful?
Beatriz is on the run.  From her past and her families’ old ties.  Little does she realize that accepting a proposal to marry from Don Rodolfo would bring her to a house so haunted by its own past that it is out for literal blood.  Will Beatriz be able to show everyone that the house is truly possessed and that she is not just losing her mind?  What caused the house to become so malevolent?  
This book starts off super slow.  It was hard to get into but about five chapters in the book starts to pick up.  Once Beatriz starts to have encounters with the house and it’s spirits it is easier to settle in and enjoy the story.  I will say that I really didn’t think that it was necessary for Padre Andres and Beatriz to have a physical relationship towards the end of the book.  I understand that they both go through such horrible ordeals together and that Beatriz can accept Padre Andres for all that he is, but I personally don’t feel like it added to the story.  Overall, this book was okay.  I could easily see this being a great book for a book club.  

Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this text.
Was this review helpful?
Historical Novels Review, May 2022:

Beatriz steps down from the carriage with her new husband Rodolpho. Hacienda San Isidro stands imposing and sinister before her, “a high dark wooden door set deep in white stucco walls… wrought-iron accents [and] high dark spikes on the front of the walls.” When Beatriz steps inside, “the air [is] thick and silent” and “the stucco swallowed even the songs of the birds.” Disrepair, cobwebs, a dead rat on the step, and cold, distrustful servants all leave her with a feeling of menace. The Solórzano family have been landlords of their Apan valley estate for many generations cultivating maguey (agave). Even though the Mexican War of Independence ended two years earlier in 1821, Spanish colonialism and class structure remain. The Solórzano family are Spanish hacendados ruling the native tlachiqueros and villagers for many generations—often oppressive and ruthless, especially to the women.

This gothic novel will pull you in with vivid language and drop you into a sinister world. Reminiscent of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier in its setup, this story is infused with a much darker horror. When Rodolpho leaves, Beatriz is left alone to face the house with its strange happenings, dark secrets, voices of the dead, and hateful spirits. Nights of terror leave Beatriz sleepless but determined to take back her house from what possesses it. Beatriz can trust no one, but Andrés, a priest from the village, earns her confidence when she wants an exorcism to cleanse the house. Andrés is not only a priest, but a witch hiding his innate powers from the lingering reach of the Inquisition and those who fear the unknown. Cañas has created engaging characters in Beatriz, Andrés, and, yes, the house, but beware of blood and supernatural violence. The pages turn quickly to a faultless, satisfying ending.
Was this review helpful?
“I was going to die in this house.”

This historical gothic horror was so creepy and tense! It’s a very slow burn but the buildup was worth it. The Hacienda is being compared to Mexican Gothic and I can definitely get behind that. Like MG, the book features a super chilling haunted house but the scenes in The Hacienda were a lot more intense and gory.

I loved the MC, Beatriz. She was strong willed with the perfect amount of sass. All of the characters were so well developed and had secrets which added to the suspense of the story.

I thought the ending was satisfying. It could have gone a different way and I would have been happy, but I loved how it all played out in the end.

I definitely recommend this one for supernatural horror fans, just be prepared for a SLOW burn!
Was this review helpful?
4.5 stars

I absolutely devoured this book. It’s a wonderful slow burn classic style gothic horror. Very atmospheric and beautifully haunting!
Was this review helpful?
All the creepy, sinister vibes of a classic gothic novel in a fresh and interesting setting. The Hacienda is a haunting tale set at the end of the Mexican War of Independence. I loved reading about this chaotic era, a period that isn't often covered in fiction. For fans of Mexican Gothic, as well as classics like Rebecca.
Was this review helpful?
My overall rating is 3.5 for this Historical Gothic novel set in Mexico.  

Canas has written lush landscapes with delectable food descriptions in this historical gothic novel set in Mexico. The reader gets a glimpse into the lifestyles of Mexicans after the Revolutionary War, interweaving supernatural elements into the storyline.  

Creepy house.  
Mysterious husband. 
Sexy priest.
A sister-in-law who acts suspicious.
Walls that drip blood
Murder
The Hacienda delivers ALL out horror.  
Don't skip over the author's notes!

This novel is incredibly slow, and the second half of the novel was better than the first half.  

Thank you Berkley Publishing for the complimentary copy of this novel.
Was this review helpful?
Following her father’s execution, Beatriz is left destitute and without a home, so she accepts the handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano’s marriage proposal despite the rumors surrounding his first wife’s death. However, her new home is not the refuge she’d thought it would be. She hears voices and feels as if invisible eyes are watching her.

Desperate for help, she turns to a priest to confront the malevolent presence lurking in her home.

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas is an utterly gripping and deliciously gothic historical horror that’s set during the aftermath the Mexican War of Independence.

The story is wonderfully atmospheric and has all the trappings of a classic gothic novel (in the best possible way). There’s a crumbling and dilapidated estate, a vengeful ghost, and something hiding in the walls.

However, it’s the two main characters that really stole my heart. There’s Beatriz is the headstrong daughter of a general, and then there’s Padre Andres who is a priest with his own demons. Both of them form a mutual respect for each other and I loved watching the crackling tension and chemistry between them.

Hands down, this is my favorite horror book of the year so far, and I can’t wait to see more from Cañas because this was an incredible debut.
Was this review helpful?
Beatriz decides to change her life and hopefully her mother’s when she marries Don Rodolfo. Since her father was called a traitor and killed, Beatriz and her mother have had to rely on the charity grudgingly given by relatives. Honestly, the servants are treated better (not by much though), and Beatriz seizes this opportunity to marry as her only way out. Her mother is appalled since Rodolfo was on the side of the men who killed her husband. She will not go to her daughter’s wedding, and Beatriz lives will the belief that in time, her mother will change her mind. She will be the mistress of San Isidro and who knows maybe even grow to love her husband.

But the hacienda is dark, and rundown, and Beatriz has an almost insurmountable job ahead of her. Her husband's sister Juana is openly hostile, and no one will stay in the house after dark. Once her husband returns to the city Beatriz is truly alone in the house. But every room holds menacing secrets and if she isn't driven mad first, something that lives within the walls won't let her leave alive. No spoilers but the things that went on in the hacienda made my blood curdle, and I don't know how Beatriz didn't run out screaming into the night.

It's a slow-burn gothic horror story that builds in intensity one page at a time. When Beatriz has almost given up, she reaches out to the church hoping the priest will perform an exorcism on the hacienda. She is considered mad except for one priest Andres who knows what she says is true and vows to help her.
 Did I almost fall off my treadmill while reading this book multiple times when I thought I heard a noise behind me? Yes, I did. One of the scariest places I can recall reading about it. The background of the Mexican civil war combined with truly despicable people and this unbelievably dark house made this an unputdownable book. I loved it! 4.5 stars.
Was this review helpful?