Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey)
October 8, 2020
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
I wish I could say that I spent more time in Mexico over the years. Warm sandy beaches, unique landscapes, and scrumptious cuisine continue to call my name during this time of literally no frivolous travel (at least for me). My only recollection of this country is of me sipping lethal cocktails from a three-foot-long plastic cup in Cancun and wandering the bustling streets of Tijuana in search of some bottled water and a pharmacy. Not exactly my classiest moments, but oh…to be young again. I was lucky enough this fall to be transported to the Mexican countryside circa the 1950s in Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest book, Mexican Gothic. Gothic horror with a touch of glamour and mystique makes this book an essential fall read. Sink into the depths of your couch with a warm bevy and cozy blanket. Let’s go visit High Place, the Manderley of Mexico!
Noemi receives an urgent letter from her newly married cousin, Catalina. Catalina is begging to be rescued from her new home at High Place claiming it’s filled with doom. Something is simply not right with this deranged letter. Noemi travels to the Mexican countryside to suss out the situation and rescue Catalina from whatever nonsense is causing such strain. Alarm bells sound upon arrival to this old and creepy estate. Catalina is in poor health with no understanding of why, while her mental state is in utter shambles. Her new husband and his family are disturbingly odd, and the strict rules of the house do not accommodate Noemi or any other socialite visiting. As she probes the family for more insight, she uncovers unsettling family secrets and a presence that literally resides in the walls of High Place. Freakish dreams, hallucinations, and a whole lot of gore begin to surface, leaving Noemi not only feeling completely anguished for answers but afraid to go to sleep. Will Francais, the only somewhat likable member of the family befriend her, or will Noemi have to go it alone getting Catalina out of this terrorizing home?
It is difficult not to mention Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca while writing this. Yes, I can see why at first glance one may notion that Mexican Gothic is the “Mexican Rebecca”. Mysterious houses in the countryside (Manderley and High Point), bewitching love, eerie staff, hair-raising secrets galore…how could one not postulate that reasoning. I am certainly guilty of this AND for naturally comparing the two throughout reading Mexican Gothic. I guess that is what we readers do. However, Moreno-Garcia and du Maurier wrote two entirely different books which, I believe, have precisely hidden themes throughout their respective stories. A topic to explore for another day. I digress.
Mexican Gothic released in June 2020. While the book world devoured this new release immediately, I patiently waited. For me, this book fits the bill for a seasonal tale to be consumed during the haunted months that fall bestows on us (because it is fabulous, you can of course enjoy this any time of year). Moreno-Garcia’s writing entailed a sublime amount of sinister vibes while captivating a darkly seductive atmosphere. One thing I will say is that I surprisingly reveled in all the gory details Moreno-Garcia put forward in her book. I am not typically a horror reader, but Mexican Gothic had just the right amount of imagery and fright for me while offering a satisfying backstory and mystery that kept me on my toes until the very end.
If fall reading is your jam, then grab yourself a copy of this spine-chilling treasure. Keep the lights on while reading this at night and DO NOT stare at the wall for too long…it could be overrun with gloom.
Until next time my friend!
Your Biggest Fan,
P.S. If you have never read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, now is the time. It is another quintessential fall read to have on your shelf. Hauntingly gorgeous and utterly gripping, Rebecca is a timeless read. Visit Manderley, smell the salt water air and feel the shadows lingering all around you. You will not regret. You will not forget! A new TV version of this book is coming to NETFLIX this month 🤗.
Click on the book pics below to purchase.