Read July 8, 2020 – July 9, 2020
I chose Mexican Gothic as my July Book of the Month pick because it seemed pretty creepy and different from what I normally read. It’s listed as horror and I don’t typically go for something intentionally scary, as I scare easily. Usually thrillers leave me pretty freaked out so I knew going for horror was a gamble. The author, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, is pretty seasoned and I know BOTM spends time in choosing books that will be enjoyable, so the risk was only whether or not I’d be truly scared.
What is it about?
This story was weird in a really good way. Noemí lives in a highly populated city in Mexico and receives a letter from her cousin who recently married and moved to a rural town. Her cousin is freaked out and the letter is a very obviously cry for help; she’s seeing things that aren’t really there and going into a complete delirium – she needs serious mental help. Noemí takes the journey to the secluded town to help her cousin, only to find the house, High Place, is even further removed from civilization.
A very strange English family that Noemí’s cousin married into runs High Place. There are rules at High Place that include complete and utter silence. You can take the girl out of the city but you can’t take the city out of the girl; Noemí struggles to follow the rules of the house, which makes her a very unwelcome guest. The house seems to be alive as the mold spores on the walls of this very old home take on a life of their own. There’s serious bad energy and her cousin’s delusions might not be delusions at all.
What does it have?
- Creepy Old House
- Unofficial Sleuthing
- Unlikely Romance
This story was a slow burn of creepy and I loved every minute of it. When Noemí reaches High Place and interacts with her cousin, Catalina, Catalina tells her, “The walls speak to me. They tell me secrets. Don’t listen to them, press your hands against your ears, Noemí. There are ghosts. They’re real. You’ll see them eventually”(Mexican Gothic). I instantly had chills. This happens fairly early in the story and you’re left waiting, wondering if Noemí will hear secrets from the walls or if Catalina is the only one able to hear them.
Is it worth reading?
For sure, this was a solid read. The writing is fantastic and you really immerse in the setting at High Place. I wasn’t terrified in my own home, just slightly creeped out, because my surroundings are much different than that of the story. There were parts where I would cringe and squirm, which is evidence of the quality of writing – I love when an author can get a reaction out of me.
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