Emer! Thank you so much for reviewing this book and for making me so curious about it! I honestly don’t think that I would have picked it up if it wouldn’t be because of your review.
That being said, I didn’t quite like it as much as Emer did [make sure to read her review as well!] but I definitely enjoyed the suspense and horror bits Silvia-Moreno Garcia included in «Mexican Gothic». I think I’ve only read 1 or 2 gothic-ish books before, so this one was definitely a lot of fun.
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.
Thank you Netgalley and Quercus Books – Jo Fletcher Books for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.
Noemí Taboada, a young socialite, “a glamorous debutant”, is sent to a distant small Mexican town to check on her recently married cousin. She arrives to a large, old house on the top of the hill that belongs to the Doyle family. The Doyles came from England many years ago to explore the silver mines. With time the mines were flooded with water and the extraction of silver had to stop. The Doyles are no longer the same wealthy family they used to be, and their house definitely took the toll for the worst – growing fungus, withering and decaying from negligence.
WHAT I LIKED:
1 – Reading the Goodreads interview with Silvia Moreno-Garcia I found it very interesting that they asked her about the house as being the large part of the story, but also working as an additional inanimated character. I loved Silvia’s reply to this. Make sure to read the full review as well, if you’re interested in this book. It gives a great general look at the story and the motives behind it. You can read the full interview here.
They were correct in asking about the house and the environment. It was these descriptions that really made the story creepy and eerie – I don’t think it would have been the same without the cemetery, the fog, and the scary stories and gossips.
2 – Noemí Taboada reminded me so much of Evie from the Diviners! And I loved her! Her looks and personalities were so different from the High Place and Doyle’s family. She bloomed with life, while the rest of the scenery was very morbid, pale and ugly. And I loved this contrast.
Also, I have to mention the gorgeous cover, that’s exactly how I imagined Noemí (except the dress), she is the one who stands out and it makes even more sense after reading the book.
3 – While fun, fast-paced, and utterly compelling, the book wasn’t shallow, which is a huge plus. Silvia Moreno-Garcia seamlessly weaved into the story conversations about beauty, eugenics – the creation of a perfect human, improving humanity on the genetic level, as well as the conversation about inferior and superior races, supported with some real facts. I just think that it was so smart and made me like this book even more.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
1 – I saw a lot of reviews saying how surprised and shocked they were by the way events took a turn, but I didn’t feel the same. In fact, I think the plot twist was very predictable, especially with all the hints spread throughout the story. But it didn’t really bother me, because I loved the suspense and eerie descriptions so much.
I was hoping that «Mexican Gothic» would be my new favorite book. Even though it didn’t happen, I loved Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s writing style and definitely will follow her work and read more of her books in the future. Last year she published «Gods of Jade and Shadow» that I hope to pick up soon!
Have you read any of Silvia-Moreno Garcia’s books before? If you have read «Gods of Jade and Shadow», let me know what you thought of it!