• Jenna Miller

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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The year is 1950, and Noemí Taboada travels to High Place, a home in the Mexican countryside, after her father receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin Catalina. Catalina's letter is very unlike her character, making unbelievable claims. When Noemí arrives, she is immediately underwhelmed and disturbed by the decaying house and the reception of the people. There is Virgil, Catalina's subtly menacing husband; Howard, the ancient patriarch with his racist, insinuating comments; Florence, Virgil's cousin who immediately dislikes Noemí; and Francis, Florence's son who Noemí begins to view as an ally.


Something sinister is thriving at High Place. Mold grows on the wallpaper in every room. Catalina is kept sequestered and sedated. Then Noemí begins to have disturbing dreams and visions that seem to emerge from the walls of the house itself.


Moreno-Garcia writes a slow burn of a novel. I could feel the creepy, disquietness strengthening with each chapter. Once I realized what was actually happening within High Place, my disquietness quickly turned to horror. This novel has all the Gothic novel elements: suspense, prophecy, omens, the supernatural, high emotion, and a pervading sense of gloom. If you are a fan of the Brontës or Daphne du Maurier, definitely grab this novel. Although you may want to prepare for a sleepless night after finishing it.

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