Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a gothic horror fiction that transports the readers into a haunted house. The story begins with the stylish and flirty Noemi Taboada, the protagonist, leaving a party early to see her father. And soon after the scene, she leaves her glamorous life in Mexico and travels to a dingy existence in the old mansion called High Place. Her mission was simple: investigate the truth behind the disturbing claims of her melodramatic cousin, Catalina, and report back to her father. However, the residents of High Place and the house itself turned this seemingly simple task into a nightmare.

… he is trying to poison me. This house is sick with rot, stinks of decay, brims with every single evil and cruel sentiment. I have tried to hold on to my wits, to keep this foulness away but I cannot and I find myself losing track of time and thoughts. Please. Please. They are cruel and unkind and they will not let me go. I bar my door but still they come, they whisper at nights and I am so afraid of these restless, dead, these ghosts, fleshless things.

– Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

If she found Virgil (Catalina’s husband), Florence (Virgil’s cousin), and Harold Doyle (Virgil’s father) peculiar, there were no words to describe the gloomy house. Yet, except for Catalina and Noemi, nobody seemed to acknowledge the whispering walls and ghostly attributes of High Place. The only respite from the utmost denial and arrogance of the occupants of the house was feeble Francis (Florence’s son). His inability to express openly, however, left Noemi at her own devices to figure out the root cause of Catalina’s deteriorating health.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia plays with contrasts like a pro. By placing a dazzling protagonist in her voguish dresses in a drab house that oozes despair from its every corner, she has painted a spellbinding image that clutches the audience from the very first glance. Mexican Gothic seduces the readers with its disconcerting characters, beguiling plot, and sensuous nightmares. The horror element on top of the puzzling residents of High Place is a concoction sure to bind the readers to the book. Engrossing conversations of condescending Virgil and Harold with a headstrong Noemi were like addictive mental exercises. During some of these intriguing debates of right and wrong, the readers will find themselves taking sides and offering counterpoints to Noemi. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one of those books that swallow the readers and dare them to stop turning the pages — an impossible feat.

“It seems like nonsense to me,” she said. “That eugenicist discourse always makes my stomach turn. Fit and unfit. We are not talking about cats and dogs.”

“Why shouldn’t humans be the equivalent of cats and dogs? We are all organisms striving for survival, moved forward by the single instinct that matters: reproduction and the propagation of our kind. Don’t you like to study the nature of man? Isn’t that what an anthropologist does?”

– Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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