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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno- Garcia- Feature and Review



ABOUT THE BOOK;

An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic artistocrat.An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic artistocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets...

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada 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.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
 And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets...

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada 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.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
 


LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:





MY REVIEW:


Mexican GothicMexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a 2020 Del Rey publication.

An exciting new approach to Gothic Horror fiction!

I rarely ever comment on a book cover- but this one is stunning! It’s an eye-catcher for sure- but you know what they say about judging a book by its cover. So, the question is- Does the story measure up to that magnificent cover?

Mexico City- 1950s

Noemí Taboada, a young socialite, who wishes to achieve more in her life than marrying a man her father approves of, is given the chance to secure her dreams of attending university, if she will travel to “High Place” to check on her cousin, Catalina, who has been writing strange, alarming letters, suggesting she is either quite ill or in grave danger.

Upon her arrival to the crumbling mansion, Noemi receives a very frosty greeting from Catalina’s husband, Virgil, and the limited staff. Even more disconcerting to Noemi, is her cousin’s fragility, and the fierce opposition others have to Noemi’s spending time alone with Catalina.
Capping things off is the house itself- which offers no modern accommodations, not even common basics, and appears to be rotting at the seams. If that isn’t unsettling enough for you- wait until you get a load of Virgil’s ancient Uncle Howard!!

Almost immediately, Noemi begins having extremely vivid, highly sexual, and lurid dreams or hallucinations. Virgil shrugs this off as ‘sleepwalking’ episodes. However, as time passes, the atmosphere in the house becomes even more claustrophobic, and the staff’s demeanor never thaws toward Noemi. One would think they were trying to scare Noemi away, but instead they are becoming more and more insistent that she remains in the house….

As horrifying as that prospect might be, Noemi is also intrigued- by the legends, Virgil, and with the youngest member of the family, Francis- the only friendly face on the entire estate. With Francis’ reluctant help, Noemi is determined to learn the history of the region and to free her cousin from the grasp of her oddly mesmerizing husband and the curse of 'High Place'.

This is one super creepy novel! The atmosphere is off the charts spooky and the imagery is incredibly vivid. The blurb calls this a ‘re-imagining of the classic Gothic suspense novel’. Go with that description and think about what that word ‘re-imagining’ might mean.

This book has been compared to ‘Rebecca’ by publicists, promoters, and editorial or professional reviewers. Naturally, I’m going to have to agree to disagree about that comparison. Why? Both novels are, without a doubt, Gothic literature. But… I never viewed “Rebecca” as a horror novel. The supernatural tones one senses in that novel, is not at all like what one will experience when reading this novel.

If I could rewrite the blurb, I would substitute the word ‘Suspense’ with the word “Horror”. The book is very suspenseful, but you are getting a true horror novel experience here, and not one that is merely implied.

While ‘re-imagining’ is a great way to describe this modern spin on the classic genre, in more ways than one it is pure traditional Gothic Horror!!

The author did a fabulous job marrying Gothic and Horror, creating a complex and hypnotizing tone, keeping me glued to the pages- especially during the last quarter of the book. That said, keep in mind that Gothic fiction is not known for its blistering pace. However, I felt like this one moved along at a nice clip, despite a lag here and there.

It’s dark and ghastly, replete with classic Gothic Grotesquerie, and lots of mind tripping chills and thrills, plus, a little bit of romance for balance and lightness.

Overall, this is the best Gothic horror novel I’ve read in ages!


 GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Mexican-Gothic-Silvia-Moreno-Garcia-ebook/dp/B07YK1K1YK/

https://www.amazon.com/Mexican-Gothic/dp/B082TKH2K7/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mexican-gothic-silvia-moreno-garcia/1133865084
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of the novels Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow, Certain Dark Things, Untamed Shore, and a bunch of other books. She has also edited several anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu's Daughters)

4 comments:

  1. Yayy! So glad you loved it. Fantastic review Julie. I am so excited, I just ordered this book from BOTM. Love your review!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much!! I'm looking forward to your thoughts on this one! Happy reading!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Jonetta!! Have a great weekend!

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