A new take on Gothic suspense that displays the horrors of colonialism against a dreamy (read: nightmarish) backdrop.
Good to know
Actress Stephanie Beatriz recommends Mexican Gothic this month.
Why I love it
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!
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.