Noemí wants to party, flirt, and do something meaningful with her life. Being called home early from an extravagant party was the last thing that Noemí wanted, but hearing that her newlywed cousin, Catalina, could be ill she makes a trek from Mexico City to High Place, a giant house in the Mexican countryside. As Noemí becomes familiar with the house and the inhabitants she finds a horrifying yet seductive tug to stay at High Place. But could Noemí leave even if she wished to?
I had no idea what I was getting into when I chose Mexican Gothic for my book club pick for the month of August. I knew that I wanted to start branching out in terms of the genres that I liked to read. I wanted to be thrilled and scared at the same time and many people were on social media anticipating Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest release. When I tell you that I was blown away by this story I am not kidding. Moreno-Garcia definitely delivered with this horror masterpiece that she graced us with. I read this book over the course of three nights and I couldn’t put it down. The book scared me, but I was delighted at being scared and I could not wait to see what happened next.
Mexican Gothic‘s story was unlike anything I could’ve imagined. I honestly didn’t know where the plot was going to end up and I loved it. Moreno-Garcia is a fantastic story-teller. A Mexican woman travels to visit her sick cousin who is married into a distant English family, but there’s something horrifically wrong with the house that they live in. Who wouldn’t want to read that? There is also a twist that you will never see coming. There are hints to it along the way, but the reveal was just great. I found myself staring at my book with my mouth wide open because I couldn’t believe what I just read. If you love a good horrifying story, you are going to love this.
Noemí really reminded me of myself when I was in college. She really wanted her life to mean something beyond her family’s legacy and I love that about her. She was smart and quick-witted and knew how to survive in a world where a woman was not really anything without her husband. Noemí’s fierceness to protect her family and not give up made me like her even more. She never backed down from a challenge, but she also knew how to pick her battles. I have found that many female protagonists that I read about start off as someone who believes themselves minor until they eventually come into themselves and realize who they are, but Noemí’s character did not go through this at all. She knew who she was from the very beginning and this definitely came in handy during this haunting tale. I found myself rooting for Noemí during the whole book hoping she would make it through her ordeal.
I know that any book you read is supposed to be like a movie in your head, HOWEVER, after finishing Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s book I felt like I had just exited a theater and watched one of the creepiest movies I have seen in a long time. She did something that not many people can accomplish while writing a story, she made you scared. I was scared of my own house by the end of book and I had to cleanse my spirit so that I wouldn’t think things were watching me from my closet. The way that the author uses details to suck you into the story is just *chef’s kiss*. I felt like I was actually in the same room as the protagonist at some points with how well this book was written (this was a good and also a bad thing haha).
Meet the Author
Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination. Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s debut novel, Signal to Noise, about music and magic, won a Copper Cylinder Award. Her second novel, Certain Dark Things, focused on narco vampires in Mexico City. It was selected as one of NPR’s best books of 2016.Gods of Jade and Shadow was the 2020 American Library Association Reading List winner in the Fantasy category and appeared on many year’s best lists.
Silvia’s short story collection, This Strange Way of Dying, was a finalist for the Sunburst Award.
She has edited several anthologies, including She Walks in Shadows (World Fantasy Award winner, published in the USA as Cthulhu’s Daughters), Fungi, Dead North and Fractured. Silvia is the publisher of Innsmouth Free Press. She co-edited the horror magazine The Dark with Sean Wallace from 2017 to 2020. She’s a columnist for The Washington Post and reviews books for NPR.
She has an MA in Science and Technology Studies from the University of British Columbia. Her thesis can be read online and is titled “Magna Mater: Women and Eugenic Thought in the Work of H.P. Lovecraft.”