“Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Review by Yvonne Selander, collection development librarian
Noemi Taboada is concerned about her cousin. When she receives a disconcerting letter that convinces Noemi that her cousin’s mental state warrants psychiatric help she knew she had to go see for herself how the woman has changed in the months since she married and moved away. That is how Noemi, a socialite in 1950s Mexico City, ends up in the countryside at the crumbling estate of High Place owned by a mining family facing financial ruin. She expected her cousin to be unwell but she didn’t expect the state of the house or the fear that grips her in the middle of the night.
Haunted places are a thing right now, and authors are having a great time twisting the concept in new and fascinating ways. Moreno-Garcia takes the concept and turns it inside out and upside down. Curses, strange rituals, creepy dysfunctional (that is putting it so lightly) families, and wallpaper that makes the hairs on the back of your neck rise up — this book has it all. In a word: gothic. This book is so gothic. It oozes gothic. I only wish there was a little more Mexico. The few scenes set in the nearby village added some sense of the location, but this tale could have been set anywhere. But if you want gothic — look no further.