Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia #MexicanGothic @JoFletcherBooks @silviamg

Today my review is part of a book tour – the details of which can be found below along with the poster detailing all the bloggers taking part.

MexicanGothicMy TL:DR Five Word Review : ‘Open Your Eyes’: Read it.

She only went and did it again.  Silvia Moreno-Garcia is positively a wordsmith.  I sometimes feel she writes simply with me in mind and manages to conjure up a book that is full of all my, not so secret, loves.  Mexican Gothic is truly gothic horror at it’s finest.  There’s a fantastic set up where we get to meet our storyteller, a forward thinking and intelligent woman who is not averse to a little romantic thinking.  There’s the light touch of fairy tales intertwined with myth sprinkled throughout the pages and there’s the most gorgeously decadent horror story that brings to us a house in the style of Usher and a family with more secrets than you could shake a stick at.

Set in 1950s Mexico the story begins with an introduction to Noemi.  Noemi is our central character and is very well imagined.  Beautiful, wealthy and a tad spoilt, although certainly not enough to make her unlikable, Noemi is no shrinking violet.  She’s used to the power that her family name brings and the doors it opens and this gives her a confidence that belies her age.  Not content to settle for a suitable marriage Noemi wants to go to University, she wants adventure and so when her father receives a disturbing letter from a recently married cousin Noemi is eager to make the journey and find the root of the problem.  So, suitcases in hand, lipstick in purse, and heels suitably high she sets off across the country to see her cousin and solve the mystery of her recent illness.

To be fair to other readers I’m not going to elaborate further on the plot.  Wild horses couldn’t drag any spoilers from between the lines of this review.  You’ll have to pick up Mexican Gothic yourself to discover it’s hidden secrets.

So, why did I love this?

Firstly, the writing.  This is not a new-to-me author.  I’ve already read and loved a number of her books including the rather brilliant Certain Dark Things, which I never miss an opportunity to wax lyrical about, and I have to say her writing is polished and persuasive.  I swear that this author could turn her hand to any genre and pull it off with ease.  Here she spins a tale that gradually pulls you in.  A lonely house atop a mountain, a family with a dark history and an overall sense of growing dread as a light is slowly shone into the darkest corners to reveal the horrors lurking there.

The main character Noemi is a wonderful creation.  She has a level of intelligence that keeps her thought processes and actions intriguing.  She has been brought up with privilege and this gives her a strength and confidence that would otherwise lack credibility and she’s not afraid to stand up for herself or take action.  Yes, Noemi could be described as vain, but, again, her vanity is never overtly irritating, more that she gives free rein to her desire to dress stylishly and is aware of the effect she has on others. Of course, this beauty can also attract the wrong sort of attention, as Noemi is about to find out.

The story itself reminded me of my love of so many gothic stories whilst at the same time standing on it’s own two feet.  It provoked thoughts of The Haunting of Hill House, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, The House of Usher to name but a few.  The house itself is like a character.  Perched atop the mountains, High Place is aptly named, chilling, dilapidated and suitably eerie.  It has its own cemetery which hosts the many workers who once worked in the, now abandoned, family silver mine and a family mausoleum.  A thick mist frequently shrouds the house and grounds making it easy to become disorientated and the interior is poorly lit and outdated, not to mention damp and creepily quiet.

As the tension mounts the horrors and family history are revealed – and they’re not pretty.  Here is a family whose wealth and status suffered as a result of revolution but who are stuck in the past like a needle in the groove of a record.  They’re determined to regain the power and wealth of a bygone era and not above marrying into money – and yet this is the least of their transgressions.

In terms of criticisms.  I have very little to mention except maybe a slight disjoint as the pace increased, a feeling that the last quarter of the book was a little more rushed than the rest of the story but it wasn’t a feeling that lingered as I was quickly chasing the words on the page.

Now, as it is I’m struggling to say too much more without revealing spoilers that could ruin the pleasure of discovering firsthand the secrets of this story.  I can warn you that this is gothic horror, it doesn’t shrink away from some cringe inducing scenes and it ventures into an almost hypnotic, psychedelic phase of storytelling as events escalate so be prepared to read things that could make you flinch.  As it is I have to admit that I love the way the author can make me feel such a rush of emotions.  I really felt for the main character as she went from one awful extreme to the next and whilst I could second guess some of the events before they took place I was never sure what the final outcome would be.

I have no hesitation in recommending Mexican gothic.  It was positively gripping, beautifully written, packed with atmosphere and delivered another great read by an author that certainly knows how to push all my buttons.

My rating is 4.5 of 5 stars

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above opinions are my own.

Finally, today’s post is part of the blog tour organised for Mexican Gothic.  Below are the details of the other blogs taking part so please give them a visit and check out their thoughts and feelings too.

Mexican Gothic_Twitter cards_Blog



24 Responses to “Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia #MexicanGothic @JoFletcherBooks @silviamg”

  1. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    There is so much love going around these days for Moreno-Garcia’s latest work! Which is hardly surprising since she is an amazing writer…
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I’m loving everything I’ve read of hers so far.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    I mean what’s not to love? This was an excellent book and I now have a couple of her backlist books I need to go back and read😁 Wonderful review, Lynn!

  3. evelynreads1

    Great review! I can’t wait to pick this one up!


  4. waytoofantasy

    So glad you loved this one, Lynn! I know how much you were looking forward to it!

  5. sjhigbee

    Fantastic review, Lynn – I’ve also reviewed MG today and showered it with love and praise. You nailed pretty much all the things that pulled me into the story and wouldn’t let me put this one down:)))

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, what an author. I can’t believe how she manages to come up with such different stories – or, more to the point, never the same genre.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        I’m avidly waiting for her steampunk adventure…

  6. Tooshorttooread

    I’m so glad SMG is getting the recognition she deserves nowadays, I’m really looking forward to this one!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Me too. She’s a great author and I just love her versatility. This is great – I love gothic stories and this one is just excellent.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    This was such a good book. Probably one of my favorites by her so far. She does atmosphere so well 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, it’s packed with atmosphere and the main character is so good. I loved the way she was so honest with her emotions.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Ola G

    I’m glad you enjoyed it so much, Lynn! It really is a great, atmospheric Gothic novel. 😀

  9. Carmen

    Love your review, Lynn, and I agree with everything. I couldn’t say it any better. I look forward to reading more from Moreno-Garcia.

  10. Looking Back at 2020 : The Ghost of Books Past | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – I simply cannot get enough of this author she seems to be able to turn her hand to any topic and win me over with ease. […]

  11. My ‘Best of’ list | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.  I don’t make a secret of the fact that I love books that are ‘gothic’ in nature so the very title of this book had me onboard immediately, not to mention that this is an author that I have yet to be disappointed by.  I love her books so much and Mexican Gothic is perfect in so many ways.  A fantastic MC, wonderful setting and gloriously decadent gothic horror.  A magnificent creation that I will undoubtedly return to. […]

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