Fantasy. Fiction. Romance. Historical Fiction. HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Its Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn start Mexican Gothic gets seriously weird.The Guardian IN DEVELOPMENT AS A HULU ORIGINAL LIMITED SERIES PRODUCED BY KELLY RIPA AND MARK CONSUELOS WINNER OF THE LOCUS AWARD NOMINATED FOR THE BRAM STOKER AWARD ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, NPR, The Washington Post, Tordotcom, Marie Claire, Vox, Mashable, Mens Health, Library Journal, Book Riot, LibraryReads An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico. 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. Shes not sure what she will findher cousins husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: Shes a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But shes also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousins 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 Noemis dreams with visions of blood and doom. Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the familys youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his familys past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The familys 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. Its as if a supernatural power compels us to turn the pages of the gripping Mexican Gothic.The Washington PostMexican Gothic is the perfect summer horror read, and marks Moreno-Garcia with her hypnotic and engaging prose as one of the genres most exciting talents.NerdistA period thriller as rich in suspense as it is in lush 50s atmosphere.Entertainment Weekly.
Similar in this library
The Doyle family moved from England to Mexico hundreds of years ago to mine silver. But lots of strange occurrences at the mansion begin to happen in the mountains of Mexico when the patriarch of the family's first wife dies under questionable circumstances.
It all adds up to an exciting page turner that should be in your beach bag this summer.
The setup to this novel is solid, and I liked the strength in the female protagonist. The book is a page-turner but manages to sprinkle in some aspects of Mexican history, though I wish there had been more of that, and the other things the book mentions without going into depth, e.g. eugenics. The erotic allure of her cousinâs husband despite his aristocratic cruelty, as well as the sudden âshockâ type moments in the story make for its strongest moments. Dreams blend with reality and itâs hard to know where one leaves off and the other begins, something Moreno-Garcia renders very well. The haunting stems from both historical injustice and from a pretty interesting phenomena (which I wonât spoil), though as it plays out in ways that are pretty conventional. Overall, an entertaining read.
You are flighty, but you are stubborn about all the wrong things. Well, itâs time to use that stubbornness and energy to accomplish a useful task.
Many formerly thriving mining sites that had extracted silver and gold during the Colonia interrupted their operations once the War of Independence broke out. Later on, the English and the French were welcomed during the tranquil Porfiriato, their pockets growing fat with mineral riches. But the Revolution had ended this second boom. There were many hamlets like El Triunfo where one could peek at fine chapels built when money and people were plentiful; places where the earth would never again spill wealth from its womb.
After a shower, NoemĂ applied lipstick and lined her eyes with a little black pencil. She knew her large, dark eyes and her generous lips were her greatest assets, and she used them to excellent effect. She took her time going through her clothes and picked a purple acetate taffeta dress with a full, pleated skirt. It was too fine to be worn as a day dressâshe had rung in 1950 in a similar outfit eight months beforeâbut then she tended toward opulence.
mad as a hatter.â âI donât understand.â âPeople said hatters were prone to going crazy, but it was the materials they worked with. They inhaled mercury vapors when they made felt hats. You still have to be careful with that stuff nowadays. You can mix mercury into paints to control mildew, but under the right conditions the compounds give off sufficient mercury vapor to make people sick. You could have everyone in a room going mad and itâs the paint job.â
I delighted in the mash-up of Gothic tropes and weaponised debutante femininity to pass comment on themes including patriarchy, class, race, complicity and the difficulty of turning your back on a toxic inheritance. The writing is reliably elegant and the characters sharply, mercilessly observed. For all its grim moments - and Moreno-Garcia repeatedly went beyond my comfort zone with her deployment of truly horrible ideas and visuals - I was engrossed from start to finish.
A mesmerizing, claustrophobic tale, brilliantly told.
I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
After receiving a disturbing letter from her newly married sister, smart and sassy Noemi travels to a mansion built into the hills of an abandoned mining camp. Noemi enlists the help of local residents to sift through
Reminiscent of both The Amityville Horror and The Skeleton Key, Noemi goes on a chilling journey that have left most inhabitants of the property insane or dead.
The cinematic writing, strong characters, and edge of your seat suspense pull you immediately into the story and keeps you there, page after page, until its climactic end.
This is the third novel I've read from Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I love her fresh and unique story telling and look forward to seeing where she goes from here.
Quite often you open a novel and while reading you have the impression that the title and the plot do hardly have any connection. In Silvia Moreno-Garciaâs book âMexican Gothicâ, however, the title perfectly announces what you will get: a wonderful Gothic horror story in the style of the 18th and 19th century. A spooky old mansion in a remote place without any available help close by, a mysterious cemetery whose inhabitants seem to wander about, nightmares, terror and morbidity accomplish it.
NoemĂ is presented as an educated yet a bit shallow young woman who cares more about partying and having fun than worrying about her family. Therefore, she only reluctantly follows her fatherâs orders to put an eye on Catalinaâs situation. When she arrives at High Place, she continues her slightly contemptuous behaviour towards the Dolye family. Only after having talked to Catalina is she moved a bit and willing to help her cousin. Her stubbornness prevents her from being absorbed by the strange activities in the house.
Soon, however, the fine line between reality and insanity becomes more and more blurry, not only is neither the protagonist nor the reader sure if NoemĂâs dreams are only very vivid or if there are frightening things under way. And then, the horror show really begins.
I totally adored how the author gradually drags the young woman and the reader into this story which oscillates between fascinations and abhorrence. Even though you are well aware that most of what happens cannot be real, it is easy to imagine that in such an old house, ghosts could roam and walls could talk. A magnificent read which transports you to a time long gone and a world where much more is possible.
I was more than halfway through the book before much of anything happened. And then, it wasn't so much horror as just plain gross. Most of the characters were not very likable. But the bigger problem was that most of them were not very interesting. Catalina herself ended up being a minor character. I would have liked to have known more about her. This is an okay book for wiling away a few hours, but I didn't find it especially interesting, engaging, horrific, or Gothic.
Gothic in nature and tone, the creepiness and strangeness of this novel accelerates. All is not as it appears and things get stranger and stranger. I fervently hoped that the young man I liked would not become a villian, but this family has many secrets and are committed to keeping them hidden. Noemi will discover hidden strengths, which she will desperately need to survive. As things decelerate into outright horror and the secrets the house is harboring is revealed, I couldn't help comparing it to The Shining. The situations are different but the power held in the house, its hold on those inside, becomes apparent. It also shows how those in charge will do anything to keep what they have, how little those in the way mean to them.
Quite good and chilling, strange and horrifying. Could be I was just in the mood for something though unbelievable pulled me out of myself.
ARC from Edelweiss.
*Note #1: I am a real scaredy-cat, and this book was Not That Scary. It was, however, deeply strange.
*Note #2: I will not give anything away, but I feel very smug about my MUSHROOMS ARE EVIL stance on life right about now.
The writing has a beautiful literary quality, making for an enjoyable journey.
I wanted more atmosphere. Noemi has no interest in exploring High Place, and she questions little of what goes on there. Since she's our narrator, we only see things from her limited perspective. The setting has all the pieces for a fantastically creepy story, but we spend way too much time on Noemi's self-obsessed drama, and not nearly enough time on the creep factor of the house and its inhabitants.
The big reveal is more weird than scary. Again, here I divert from the majority opinion because I thought it was overblown, bordering on silly. At no point was I scared or even worried about the outcome.
Overall, I'm just neutral on the whole reading experience.
As is typical and typically annoying of me, I had a few gripes with the flowery language used in some places and in others not. I noticed that sometimes the way Noemi thought and spoke would follow one sort of way and then suddenly feel out of place, too modern and sardonic for what we were previously shown. This happened throughout the novel for me, where I was slightly taken aback by the change in tone and took me out of the story. However, it wasn't hard to get back into it and rejoin the others at High Place.
Overall, a captivating, original read.
Hallucinations or deep dives into a characterâs dream state, that type of scene pretty much never appeals to me. If itâs a dream or hallucination then it hasnât actually happened and it
Something else that really isnât my favorite brand of storytelling were the explanations for an event from the past, as well as some of the explanation for what was currently happening in the house, for the most part, it came out in large chunks of telling, so while it revealed new information which probably should have increased the tempo, the long-winded nature of the reveals slowed the momentum.
Thanks to the Bronte sisters (and a few others) I tend to associate Gothic with romance, and while this book by no means bills itself as a romance, if thatâs in part what youâve come for, you may be disappointed as Noemiâs options in the house are not great, either a married lecher or someone so timid thatâs itâs fairly impossible to imagine him being a proper match for her anytime soon, and unfortunately though thereâs someone in town who maybe could have been a possibility the story never went there.
All of that said, there were some things I did like, itâs very atmospheric, you can very much picture the fog, the house, and the life-threatening ravines, and the overall eerie vibes. Noemiâs wardrobe was described to perfection, itâs what Iâll be most desperate for the upcoming television adaptation to get right. And lastly thereâs Noemi herself, intelligent, brave, ambitious, sheâs not the sort of horror heroine who meekly goes along, she questions things, she advocates for her cousin and herself, sheâs far and away the reason I managed to stick with this book all the way to the end.
Noemi, a young socialite, is sent from her life of parties and handsome suitors in Mexico City to check on her ailing cousin, now living in the mountains. Catalina has recently married the charming but sly son of the Doyles, an English family who made their name and dwindling riches in silver mining. She moved to his family's home on the former mine and was thought by Noemi's family to be happy, until a disturbing letter is received hinting at illness and captivity. Noemi, brash and forthright, goes to stay with the family while she finds out what is wrong with Catalina, yet the mold on the walls and the heavy mist in the cemetery next to the house are only the start of the nightmare.
The plot and the characters are that perfect blend of gory horror and psychological warfare that sets a foreboding atmosphere better than any haunted house. Creepy men, cruel women and something nasty lurking in the family crypt. Noemi is like the sole Technicolor frame in a black and white film, all modern (1950s) style and brash speech - she reminded me of Emma Woodhouse ('A woman who is not liked is a bitch and a bitch can hardly do anything: all avenues are closed to her'), which made me love her all the more. Poor Francis, the weakling cousin and only friendly family member, was also very sweet. The clues were hard to ignore, from the sweet-tasting wine to the fascination with mushrooms and the statue to 'Mother' (add Psycho to the list!), but I was more interested in finding out if Noemi was going to escape than waiting for the literary equivalent of jump scares.
Well crafted and fun to read - the cover is beautiful too! I'll never look at mushrooms in the same way again!