Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one part gothic tale like Rebecca and one part like Jordan Peele’s film Get Out. The novel dip from gothic to horror easily. The novel analyses race, heredity, and class warfare making it a deep part of the story. This novel has been in the horror category, the first half I was like this is stretch to fit in this category, but the second half earned its spot in the category. The story is totally off the rails I could not have predicted where it went which was part of the fun. This book is one of the most hyped books of this year, receiving rants and raves all over the blogosphere. I enjoyed the story but I’m not totally aboard the hype train, I do hope it will get more people to check out the horror genre. Mexican Gothic will be adapted into a mini series for Hulu. Mexican Gothic is up for a Goodreads choice award for horror 2020.
The Plot: Noemi is a privileged socialite in 1950’s Mexico, she enjoys toying with would be suitors. Her father who cares about status doesn’t really want her happy but wants her married well. Noemi doesn’t know if she’s ready for marriage, she wants to further her education and go for her Master’s degree. She wants to go the the big university and not the locale one. An opportunity has came up where her father wants her to check on and maybe bring home her newly married cousin Catalina, after she wrote a disturbing note alleging her new husband might want to harm her, in exchange he will let Noemi go to the university of her choosing. The family is not happy about the wedding in the first place it happened to fast for the family to intervene, and the husband is an Englishman who’s family used to run a silver mine, that hasn’t been worked for over a decade. Noemi arrives to a remote Mexican countryside to a mansion called High Place that has seen better days. Something feels off as she gets the felling she is not wanted there, the family has one black sheep in Francis that has been nice to her. She keeps getting the run around to see her cousin who is sick. When she does she remembers nothing of a letter and says she loves it here. Noemi starts to have strange dreams of women of the family, she can’t tell whats real or a dream. Is she living a nightmare or is this real?
What I Liked: The story is totally original, and totally crazy I could not have imagined where it was going to go. The story nails it’s gothic roots, creepy setting, family secrets, ghost of the past, candlelight (High Place is so far in the countryside it has no power), and dark beauty. The character of Florence will give Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca in being creepily strict. I liked the conversation about race and class. The setting of High Place is great as acting as a metaphor for what was once great that is now decaying and a place of secrets. The finale delivers with being suspenseful and answering all of the questions. My favorite quote “And you think you have a special power simply because my uncle thinks you possess a pretty face. But that’s not power. It’s a liability.”
What I Disliked: The ending, Noemi makes a decision that I felt was out of character, the writer tried to wrap it in a bow, and it felt forced. The back half of the novel is really focused, and I would have liked to see more of that in the front half.
Recommendation: I will recommend Mexican Gothic to my readers, you know I like a crazy story that I can not predict where the story is going to end up and Mexican Gothic delvers in spades. If you like gothic stories like Rebecca, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and The Thirteenth Tale then you will enjoy this one. I think this is a good novel to introduce people to the horror genre as this book lightly dips its toes in it. I rated Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 4 out of 5 stars.