Primary Genre(s): Gothic horror, Fiction, Thriller
Published: 20 Jun 2020 by Del Rey
Page count: 301 (print length)
My Format: eBook via Overdrive/Libby
Pacing: Extremely slow
Do I Recommend: Maybe
Commission Link (U.S.): Buy Mexican Gothic
My rating: ★★★☆☆
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 Noemí’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s 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.
I am a huge fan of gothic novels. HUGE! The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte are way up high on my list of most favorite books ever! I simply love the gothic atmosphere, the hint of supernatural, and the subtle but persistent sense of fear. So, I was super excited to read this book! It has “gothic” right in the title!! I had to love it, right? Here are my pros and cons for Mexican Gothic:
- Gorgeous, eye-catching cover.
- The concept was intriguing, but possibly too strange (see Cons).
- The general atmosphere of the house and its surroundings were well developed and creepy. There was definitely a sense of something being off kilter.
- The dream sequences were uncomfortable and confusing. They enhanced the gothic feel of the novel.
- The ending was generally satisfying, albeit exceptionally odd.
- The story was painfully slow. I’m all for a great build up in a gothic novel, but this one crawled. Honestly, I was very bored through the first 2/3 of the book or more. I feel like nothing happened until the last 75 pages or so, and that was simply too long to wait.
- What did eventually happen was intriguing, but it was ultimately a little far-fetched for me.
- I didn’t really like Naomi and I didn’t connect with her at all. To be fair, I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. They all felt quite one-dimensional to me.
This is a unique attempt at a gothic horror novel and it had potential to be great! But the tragically slow pace throughout the bulk of the book, accompanied by a lightning speed finish just didn’t work for me. I know others have enjoyed this novel and I happy about that. But overall, I thought it was just okay.
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