Friday, 19 August 2022

Mexican Gothic Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I just finished reading Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemí’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

Only occasionally do I read I gothic, ghost or supernatural story, but after reading her novel, Velvet Was the Night, I did not hesitate to read this one.

Only occasionally do I read gothic, ghost or supernatural story, but after reading her novel, Velvet Was the Night, I did not hesitate to read this one.

From the time Noemi sets foot in “High Place”, the story becomes creepy. The family, the staff, what is happening to her sister? Creepy. The house, her room, the grounds, the constant thick mist? Creepy. Then the story emerges itself further into the gloom and, yes ... creepiness. Why am I using the word creepy so much? It’s because Moreno-Garcia weaves a setting which emotes such a feeling in the reader.

An excellent gothic tale, well told.

About Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of a number of critically acclaimed novels, including Gods of Jade and Shadow (Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, Ignyte Award), Mexican Gothic (Locus Award, British Fantasy Award, Pacific Northwest Book Award, Aurora Award, Goodreads Award), and Velvet Was the Night (finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize).

She has edited several anthologies, including She Walks in Shadows (World Fantasy Award winner, published in the USA as Cthulhu’s Daughters). Silvia is the publisher of Innsmouth Free Press. Her fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.

She has an MA in Science and Technology Studies from the University of British Columbia. Her thesis can be read online and is titled “Magna Mater: Women and Eugenic Thought in the Work of H.P. Lovecraft.” She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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