This is the first of my review series for Halloween themed reads to enjoy the month of October. They will range from new finds to seasoned classics. So if you’re looking for books to put you in the Halloween spirit and give you a real scare stay tuned!
Critics and book sellers made Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia come to the forefront of my attention through their rave reviews. And since it is National Hispanic Heritage Month as well as nearing Halloween, I decided to give the book a try!
What’s It About?
This book centers on Noemí Taboada, a beautiful socialite who lives with her father in Mexico City. Her days are filled with parties and dancing until one day she receives a distressed letter from her newly wedded cousin. The letter is filled with ramblings of ghosts and voices, and her cousin claiming her new husband is poisoning her. Noemi’s father sends her to investigate the matter.
She sets off for High Place, the aging home of her cousin’s English Husband, Virgil Doyle, off in the countryside of Mexico. Upon meeting the Doyle family, Noemí is disconcerted by the strange attention of the archaic patriarch of the family. Weird dreams begin to invade Noemí’s mind at night and give her a growing sense of foreboding.
The Doyle family’s youngest member seems to be her only ally as she investigates her cousin’s illness but even he seems to be hiding something. In this house that seems to pulse with secrets and danger, it is up to Noemí to stay vigilant if she ever hopes to escape it.
The story began slowly and initially I got lost in the descriptions within the story by the use of terms I never heard before. Words like, antimacassar which is apparently the lace like doily on the back of sofas and maguey which is another way to refer to an agave plant. Despite getting lost, I learned a great deal more about Mexican culture and gained an appreciation for the usage of these terms as I continued through the novel.
As you follow Noemí in her investigation of the house and the Doyle family, the mood becomes more and more eerie until you reach a certain point of no return. I couldn’t put the book down for hours because I had to find out what happened next!
Mexican Gothic was a unique take on the horror genre and left one with the question of what lengths would you go to in order to escape death? Deliciously macabre and mysterious, I recommend this as a read for a dark and stormy night.
Image from BN.com