After receiving a frantic and confusing letter from her newly married cousin, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a large Victorian mansion in the Mexican countryside. Her cousin’s new husband is a virtual stranger and outsider, after a rushed courtship and marriage. Noemí is an unlikely candidate for rescuer, she’s glamorous, with a calendar filled with cocktail parties. Underneath that appearance though, she is tough, smart and isn’t afraid of her cousin’s in-laws no matter how odd they seem. Her only ally is the younger brother to her cousin’s husband. He is shy and often intimidated by Noemí, but he’s her only chance at figuring out what is wrong with her cousin and escaping High Place.
This was my Book of the Month selection for July and it did not disappoint. I have never read anything by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (though I’ve heard great things about Gods of Jade and Shadow and its on my to-read list). I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on, and what weird thing the family was into and I was still surprised in the end. It had everything you love about the gothic horror genre. The gradual rise of dread throughout the novel is perfect. The dread actually never ends, and there is an ambiguity to the ending that is haunting. It makes the novel really stick with you. Mexican Gothic also touches on racial, class, and labor inequality. The author hits all the Gothic tropes, but they are in a different viewpoint which makes it work so well.
It’s the perfect novel if love Gothic horror, or you are looking to get into some spooky Halloween vibes.