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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Horror

Mexican Gothic

Repeat author
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include Gods of Jade and Shadow and Velvet Was the Night.

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Quick take

A new take on Gothic suspense that displays the horrors of colonialism against a dreamy (read: nightmarish) backdrop.

Good to know

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    Feminist

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    Supernatural

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    Movieish

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    Creepy

Actress Stephanie Beatriz recommends Mexican Gothic this month.

Why I love it

Stephanie Beatriz
Actress, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Gothic stories in the style of novels like Jane Eyre and films like Crimson Peak are my favorite, but I have longed for the missing presence of Latinx characters in these rich worlds. Mexican Gothic takes us on a familiar Gothic Romance ride: terrifying, sexy, thrilling, and gorgeous. A story where you feel you MIGHT know how it all ends (and if you’re a fan of thrillers/mysteries, you very well may figure it out) but writing the lead as a Mexican woman forging her way in the 1950s is a brilliant move by author Silvia Moreno-Garcia. It’s sadly still too rare to read this type of genre with this type of protagonist.

Noemí is living the fun and fashionable life of a 1950s “it girl”/ socialite when she receives a disturbing letter from the Mexican countryside: Catalina, her recently-married cousin, has taken ill, and her husband’s family, the aloof and conservative Doyles, don't seem able to help her—or maybe they just don’t want to?? Trapped in the sinister mansion called High Place, Noemí finds an ally in the youngest Doyle son and begins to learn more about the eerie circumstances surrounding the house, the family, and even Catalina’s illness. But soon she’s having vivid dreams that seem VERY real, and uncovering the answers to secrets she may have never wanted to know.

I was captivated by the epic descriptions of the seemingly alive grounds and house, the terrifyingly familiar story of losing oneself to the rigid expectations of societal pressures, but also because I’ve rarely read or seen a story like this with this person as the hero. She is smart, ambitious, and often fearless in the face of overwhelming horror; this story was haunting in the BEST way!

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Synopsis

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.

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Preview

Get an early glimpse from the first pages of Mexican Gothic.

Member thoughts

All (25424)
All (25424)
Love (10623)
Like (11181)
Dislike (3620)
25658 ratings
  • 41% Love
  • 44% Like
  • 14% Dislike
  • Tulsa, OK

    I’ve seen a lot of reviews that said this was “slow” or “boring” and I’m just like ????? I LOVED this. It was creepy & beautiful & mysterious. I was captivated the whole time. And Noemí is a bad ass!

  • Salt Lake City, UT

    ★★★★★ This book was creepy, surprising, and kept me guessing until close to the end. The author really knows how to keep a reader hooked from the beginning. I haven’t read much horror, but I will now!

  • Colonia, NJ

    Loved it was very entertaining! I love the way the writer made it so real in my mind. I am proud that a Latina had written a book such as this one. For now on I will follow this author. Whatever she writesLovedit

  • Milwaukee , WI

    I read this book in less than a week because it really pulled me in. It’s not your typical “haunted house” story. It’s darker and far more sinister, and I was really drawn to Noemí’s strong character.

  • McKinney, TX

    Danced between “loved” & “liked” simply because the ending was not my favorite… HOWEVER the beginning really hooks you in and makes you fall in love with the characters and setting!! Would recommend!

  • Fargo, ND

    While it seems some people didn’t like the “odd” component, I loved that it made this story unique. I am just beginning to delve into the horror genre & felt this made a great dark, spooky fall read!

  • Rock Hill, SC

    I’m between “like” and “love” so I’m opting for love because MG kept me hooked. Some things I somewhat predicted, but it was wholly original. A slow burn, but NOT boring. Great characterization!

  • Chandler, AZ

    This one is hangover inducing. The rotten, gothic house, the evil characters, the vivid details, the clothing, the fiery MC. Love that the plot wasn’t explained away in mundane, “realistic” details.

  • Liberty, MO

    Wonderfully chilling and well, gothic. The title suits the book perfectly. It’s well written with unexpected twists. I loved Noemí and the story was brilliant. Only complaint is that it wasn’t longer.

  • San Leandro , CA

    I couldn’t stop!! Grips you from the start - you MUST find out whats really happening. So beautiful - the scenery, the house. Referneces to Wuthering Heights and The Yellow Wallpaper were not lost ❤️

  • Houston, TX

    One of the most creative, creepy, intriguing stories I’ve read in a long time! A slow burn that had me hooked from the first paragraph. I love the author’s writing and will be reading her other works.

  • Shady Side, MD

    I wasn’t sure how to rate this. It started slow and boring but I couldn’t put it down then got to the twist and thought it was completely stupid, but then it got better from there. Overall pretty good

  • New York, NY

    I tend to stay away from horror but I couldn’t put this book down. It started off so normal that I was like, what’s so crazy about this family? When Francis revealed the crazy secret, I was in shock.

  • Macungie , PA

    Love Noemi! She’s smart, strong and yet caring. The descriptive and intelligent writing style really sucked me into the story-I could picture everything vividly.I’m also happy it ended the way it did!

  • W Los Angeles, CA

    Reading this book kept bringing stunning visual images to mind, in likeness to the movie “Crimson Peak”. A bit of a slow build, but tons of stunning descriptions; the ending is gratifying and perfect.

  • Buffalo, NY

    This story was unique, and didn’t follow the old “Scooby-Doo” bad guy in a mask trope. It took a few chapters for me to get hooked, but once I was, I couldn’t put it down until the fiery finish!

  • Clifton , NJ

    Wow!! Horror is not a genre I’d normal choose but I couldn’t put it down! The story started out slow but then it all just hits you! This book has it all; Creepy, gory, erotic, witty and so creative!

  • Wilmington, NC

    I’ve seen some reviews calling this book slow in the first half and I get that there isn’t a ton of action but I think it does provide such atmospheric writing that is important as the story goes on.

  • Herriman, UT

    I absolutely loved this book. I couldn’t put this book down, and flew through it reading it in a day. Noemí was a strong refreshing character, and I enjoyed reading her react to the things around her.

  • Walhalla, SC

    Noemi’s story, the Doyle’s story, transcends beyond the genre thats been assigned to it. Its not just a classic gothic, or sci-fi, or horror, or some dark fantasy; its all of it. And its quite good.

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