by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Published by Penguin
Release Date: June 30th 2020
Genres: Adult, Fiction, Magic
Format Read: ARC, Paperback
Buy on Amazon
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.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I finished this book two weeks ago and I still cannot stop thinking about it. I wasn’t a fan of Gods of Jade and Shadow by the same author so I almost didn’t pick up this book but DANG AM I GLAD I DID! The first 60 or so pages are a little slow, but once we get past world-building and into the bulk of the plot I couldn’t put it down.
If you like classic gothic novels like Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights then this is the book for you. Historical Fiction set in 1950s Mexico, Mexican Gothic follows fabulous debutante and university student Noemí Taboada as she travels to the old English estate/bankrupt silver mine owned by her cousin Catalina’s husband and his family after she receives a desperate plea for help. Catalina’s husband Virgil claims she is sick, but is she really sick, or has she lost her mind? Or even worse- is she perfectly well and the strange things she claims to have seen and heard absolutely 100% real?
A proud old family who thinks they are amazing just because they are white and used to have money, Catalina’s husband Virgil, his aunt Florence and his father Howard do everything in their power to block Noemí’s attempts to discover the secrets of High Place, a rotted and crumbling monument to their former glory. Obsessed with the purity of their bloodline and their perceived superiority over the local people, they do whatever they can to put stubborn Noemí “in her place.” This family has more than one secret hidden in their overgrown gardens and mushroom covered walls – the ending was a wild ride that seriously left me spinning. In the vein of Crimson Peak, this book left me feeling as scared and paranoid as the characters themselves, jumping each time they turned a corner or heard a voice speak to them from nowhere at all. Equal parts spine-tingling and heart-pounding, I gagged and prayed and shouted from the first page to the last.
Also I. Loved. Noemí. So many of the other characters dismiss her as silly and vain, and while she definitely can be she was also a character of such intense grit and determination that you couldn’t help but root for her. She and Catalina are amazing examples of the effects of trauma on a person and the intense bonds of family. This whole novel was an excellent examination of the power family holds over us. If your family does terrible things do you still support them? Leave them? Fight against them even if it kills you? I loved this book and I honestly can’t wait to read it again.
Some trigger warnings: sexual assault, blood, hallucinations, racism and drug use
Hi y’all, i’m Rachel! When i’m not reading or talking about books I can be found rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the 72nd time, working on my own novel, cheering on JMU football (Go Dukes!) and taking advantage of all the great museums and breweries Richmond has to offer.
Check out my instagram highlights and Goodreads page for more reviews of all the books i’ve read this year!