Cover Image: The Hacienda

The Hacienda

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Member Reviews

There were plenty of pretty intense, scary moments. Overall, I did enjoy the story and characters and the setting added to the creepiness. This would make a great horror movie!
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An excellent gothic tale about a newly wed who does battle with her husband’s Hacienda. She finds a body, walls smeared with blood, or is it all in her head and she’s going mad. With the help of a mysterious and handsome priest the climax will leave you scared and creeped out
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Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for the advance review copy—all opinions are my own!

WOW. I am floored. I expected to love this because I am a sucker for an atmospheric gothic horror, but I was not prepared for how deeply immersed, invested, haunted, and moved I would be by THE HACIENDA. Set in the early nineteenth century, post-War for Independence period in Mexico, Isabel Cañas' debut drew me in with its vivid, gorgeous prose as well as the perfect balance of jump scares and mounting suspicion about the evil that's at the heart of this story and the hacienda itself.

Beatriz and Andres are each in their own ways exiles and outcasts in a society plagued by racist colonialism and corrupt societal and religious systems. Seeing how these two main characters believed in each other as no one else had, the way in which they empowered each other to step fully into their strength and identity and ultimately vanquish the lies and hatred poisoning the place they both called home, was a powerful message against those oppressive, hateful systems that would seek to keep them down.

I am so excited for the world to have this rich, atmospheric, poignant story. Cañas' gift for breathtaking prose and evocative storytelling is taking her places—I can't wait to see what she gives us next.
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This was a super bingeable, fast-pasted supernatural thriller. I love a good ol’ fashioned haunted house story, and this book gave me my haunted house fix alongside vibrant historical and cultural elements. It was creepy and atmospheric as hell (as any good gothic novel should be) and the author did a great job with ratcheting up the suspense at a solid pace.
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Oh boy. Rebecca meets Mexican Gothic, and throw in a compassionate witch priest for good measure. It did take me a little to get into the book - I think the pacing is just a little slow in some places - but it was deeply enjoyable, and the book consistently reeled me in. This has some of my favorite tropes of horror, including the need for more than one stand-off with the big bad, and blood on the walls. We love blood on the walls. The politics of the history are also present at the beginning, which provided a really solid foundation for the feeling of being trapped.

The one criticism I have of the book relates to Andres's powers. There was all this talk about the dangerous darkness he holds, but the stakes aren't really established for me to feel much anxiety over this. I am not from the culture that is the book's setting, so this is perhaps the context I am missing. But especially because it seemed like there was a darkness that he felt distinguished himself from other witches, I wish we could have had a clearer understanding of why or how his powers were more dangerous.
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The Hacienda is a gothic horror set in Mexico after the Mexican War of Independence. 

With a suspenseful opening, this book was unputdownable. There is tension and foreboding from the moment Beatriz arrives at her new home with her new husband.

The Hacienda has supernatural elements, including a haunted house. These elements build up slowly but in an efficient way that doesn’t drag the story. It was creepy and everything a gothic novel should be. I could tell there was something wrong with the house and its inhabitants, especially with the Solórzanos, and it was very satisfying to find out what it was.

Every character was interesting in their own way.

The author also weaves in actual historical elements.
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I absolutely loved this story, it had such a great storyline, though I guessed the criminal from the beginning (almost) I did not mind it as the story was constructrd in such a way that I wanted to turn the page and find out more. I loved Andres's heritage and his internal struggles, Beatriz is a fearless woman, though at first I did not like her approach to accepting Rodolfo's proposal, she really changed in the hacienda and I loved seeing more of her interaction with the side characters and Andres. It was refreshing to read about Andres and Beatriz coming together and also that she did not remain with him. Would have liked to see more of the relationship between mother and daughter. All in all a very interesting book, masterful storytelling.
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When Beatriz marries rich widower Don Rodolfo, she dreams of turning her new estate into a lavish home for herself and her mother. She soon realizes the house has different plans. *thunder clap* *glowing red eyes in the dark*. What’s up with Don Rodolfo’s brash sister? Why is Beatriz hearing voices and seeing things? Can (handsome) priest Andres save her from the twisted horrors in the Hacienda before it’s too late?

The setting and characters in The Hacienda make this a really fun horror read. A haunted Hacienda overlooking a vast maguey farm? Yes please. Plus a dash of romance and a murder mystery to boot. The best part of the book was a twist with one of the main characters who is more complex than they first seem.

One con: I would say the ending had some elements I saw coming. 

Overall, a good read. If you are a fan of Mexican Gothic, you’ll probably like this one.
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A thoughtful and compelling Gothic suspense novel. Set after the Mexican War of Independence, colonialism, colorism, and native beliefs all collide in a haunted house where the spirits are vengeful and real.
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LOVED this books. Will absolutely recommend it to patrons who want atmospheric/gothic thrillers. Thanks for the reminder and best of luck for LIbraryReads!
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This somewhat predictable novel would have worked better for me as straight historical fiction. While I loved all of the lush, vivid descriptions of food and place and Cañas did a good job highlighting class disparities and the state of Mexico after the Revolutionary War, the tepid supernatural element here is a non-starter and could have been skipped altogether; the revelation about the haunting of the hacienda is obvious from the first creepy giggle Beatriz hears. Cañas throws a lot of disparate elements into the pot in the last third of the book whether they make sense together or not <spoiler>Murder! Exorcism! Fire!</spoiler> and as a result the ending gets a little messy, but still agreeable. Two and a half stars rounded up.
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Isabel Cañas' debut gothic supernatural suspense novel, The Hacienda is a dark, suspense-driven tale that will cement this author in a growing in popularity genre. This book is being labeled Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca, but I would say its more of a mix between Rebecca and The Haunting of Hill House with a historical Mexico twist.

The Hacienda takes place during Mexico's war for independence, and we are focused on main protagonist Beatriz and her recent marriage to Don Rodolfo Solórzano. After Beatriz moves into Rodolfo's estate, Hacienda San Isidro, whispers begin to ooze through the walls. What happened to Rodolfo's prior wife and what lies behind the history of Hacienda San Isidro? Beatriz's life begins to get a little more complicated after Rodolfo leaves for work in the capital, leaving her alone with a new circle of people that distrust her. When Beatriz begins to suspect that things aren't quite what they seem, she is ridiculed by Rodolfo's sister, Juana, and the Church. It isn't until she enlists the help of a young priest, Padre Andrés, where she begins to realize that Hacienda San Isidro's forces may be more sinister than she expected.

I really enjoyed this book everyone! It's immersive, atmospheric, and so suspenseful. I really am enjoying this type of genre lately and I hope we see more of this supernatural gothic suspense in historical Latin American settings. This book is dense, and will not be for everybody, but once I got into the swing of things, I really couldn't put it down. If you enjoy slow building suspense, this is YOUR book! I cannot wait to see what this author has next up in store for us readers.
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What happens when your new husband leaves you in a haunted Hacienda?? Find out in this spooky novel.
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I will always rave about horror narratives that take place in an unconventional setting. Isabel Cañas is poised to become one of the great voices of the genre. A lot of recent titles have been a perfect blend of classic characteristics and styles that are perfect for adventurous readers. When I first began reading, I was curious as to how she would be introducing the more horrific elements of the story. Any concerns I had were immediately eased by her incredible writing. I sensed this patient yet suspenseful tone behind the text, and the exposition was nothing short of glorious.

The characterization is incredibly well done. The characters we meet are not the ones we're left with, and it's a wonderful yet terrifying journey that Cañas takes us on. The plot was memorable and haunting--I'm sure it's going to stay with me for a long time. The beautiful, rich perspective of her heritage shines here. Similar to the works of Silvia Moreno-Garcia, it takes center stage and demands attention. This is absolutely going to be something I keep at the back of my mind for recommendations!
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The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas is everything anyone could want from historical horror fiction.  It is a gothic, lovely, and moves quickly.  When our library acquires this title, I am for sure going to put it as my employee recommendation.
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Wow! I was expecting a slightly creepy ghost story, but The Hacienda is so much more. Is it creepy? Absolutely! But it is also beautiful and original and gave me nightmares. The best kind of ghost story.
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"Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches...

During the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father was executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize 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.

Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom."

Name check two of my favorite books and throw in The Exorcist and I am SOLD!
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A great read that encompasses the genres of historical fiction and horror. This novel will be purchased for library and highly recommend for fans of the genres.
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The Hacienda is a fast-paced horror/thriller that I read in almost one sitting. While there are a few plot holes, and events escalate so quickly as to not have time to build a creepy sense of unease, it's super entertaining and a really enjoyable read. This would be a great pick to help you out of a reading slump.
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THE HACIENDA By Isabel Cañas is the kind of gothic horror that should only be read during the light of day in a house full of people you love and trust. If you can manage to sleep the night after reading this perfectly crafted, darkly suspenseful masterpiece, you might want to leave a light on. Or a dozen. And if when you drift off you hear a loud clatter coming from the kitchen, don't get up and investigate it. Just assume something precariously balanced tipped over in the middle of the night and came crashing down of its own accord, as things are wont to do.

THE HACIENDA has an almost lyrical rhythm to the prose, creating a highly charged, atmospheric story that won't soon release me from its grasp.
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