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Review: Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic

Title: Mexican Gothic
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Genre: Literary Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
Page Count: 320
Published by: Del Rey Books
Date Published: June 30, 2020
You can find a copy here: Bookshop.org


Mexico, 1950.

Glamorous socialite Noemi receives a desperate plea of help from her recently wed cousin, Catalina, to come save her from certain doom at High Place. Upon arrival at the eerie, crumbling manor Noemi discovers three things: her cousin’s husband is as menacing as he is alluring, the patriarch is oddly fascinated by Noemi and the house itself is possessing her and her dreams with disturbing images of blood, murder, and unspeakable horrors.

Relying on her only ally, the family’s youngest son, Noemi is determined to help Catalina get the help she needs and escape before the house, with all its madness and horror, consume them both.


Well, that was one messed up, mind trip of a ride.

I just can’t tell if I fully enjoyed the experience.

I was drawn to this novel immediately when I heard Silvia was coming out with a new book because I was obsessed with her unique voice and the out-of-this-world psychedelic journey that was Gods of Jade of Shadow. It was different. It was weird. I love me some different, weird stories. Mexican Gothic was tooted as the gothic read for fans of Rebecca (hello!). Sold. But then I heard about the horror …

I loved Noemi. She was such an excellently drawn, feisty, headstrong, arrogant, intelligent brat with gumption that sparked life on every page. I loved the setting. This crumbling, molding gothic manor set atop a mountain in Mexico. I loved the creepy whispers, delicious language, sense of secrets and subtle urgency to the plot. I even loved that at many times I wasn’t really sure what-the-heck was happening, much like Noemi, which just furthered the atmosphere.

Then Silvia brought out her psychedelic pen. I mean, I knew it was coming. And yep, it got weird. Fast. I still can’t say whether I enjoyed this part of the book – because while it was wholly out-there plotting, gothic, gory, and horror filled … I can’t understand to what purpose the gratuitous horror served. I have a stronger stomach when it comes to reading horror than watching because my mind simply refuses to form that image thankyouverymuch, so I can handle some shit. But I need that horror, to be for a purpose … not just for horror’s sake. And I can’t determine right now if this story needed to go so … disturbing. Here’s the content warning: rape, attempted rape, incest, incestuous rape, child abuse, cannibalism, body dysmorphia, suicide, horrifying birth scenes, and full spoiler here … eating an infant. So there’s all that.

Overall I loved this as much as I was appalled by it – maybe this is the point of horror? You’d have to ask a horror fan, of which I am not. Silvia brought the out-of-this world strange factor that I knew she would and packaged it nicely within an extremely atmospheric setting and firecracker characters. It is messed up, disturbing, and quite grotesque and if you love your gothic stories to be served with straight up heaps of horror, you’re going to love this. I liked it, but I think I could’ve loved it, if it was more … “horror light”. Silvia Moreno Garcia still remains a must read for me and I respect the space she is carving out in literary fantasy.

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