Mexican Gothic

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia,

Book cover of Mexican Gothic

Book description

The award-winning author of Gods of Jade and Shadow (one of the 100 best fantasy novels of all time, TIME magazine) returns with a mesmerising feminist Gothic fantasy, in which a glamorous young socialite discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico.

He is trying to…

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Why read it?

14 authors picked Mexican Gothic as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I’ve always loved a good Gothic novel, but Moreno-Garcia raised the bar with this book.

Part mystery, part romance, part haunted house story—this novel runs the gamut from eerie to enchanting. The menacing secrets of High Place, set against the backdrop of glamorous 1950s Mexico, drew me into an intriguing plot that was as captivating as it was frightening. 

From D.L.'s list on fantasy by Latine authors.

Isolated locations are the cornerstone for building tension in a slow-burning mystery such as this.

With a strange family keeping secrets from our protagonist, to the quiet unease of something not quite right, the mounting dread of this Gothic tale takes readers on a journey both unique and unsettlingly familiar.

It crawls under your skin and remains, unbidden, like Noemi’s dreams of blood in a house that doesn’t want to let her go, just as the cousin she’s come to rescue seems destined to succumb under the rule of an oppressive family.

The resurgence of Gothic literature this new classic…

The title says it all. Unsettling and at times just plain weird, this book features another mansion, not so much haunted as alive in the worst possible way. Decay is everywhere, from the wallpaper on the mansion’s wall to the flesh, humanity, and sanity of its occupants. Wholly original and beautifully written (I learned two new-to-me words I now use regularly*), it’s a dark, immersive, and surprisingly gory read. I’ve never read anything like it.

* Susurrus and miasma, for the curious

From J. L.'s list on gothic reads by modern women.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia does an amazing job of sucking the reader into a brand-new gothic place where the mind and body can no longer be trusted. Setting always plays a big role in my own novels—finding a place that seems to be haunted by a yet-to-be-identified story—and Moreno-Garcia does this brilliantly. Those who love Edgar Allen Poe or the Bronte sisters will adore this fresh take on gothic horror. Noemí is a fantastic female character, strong and willful and curious. And yet, she is no match for the molding mansion and the family that inhabits it. 

Decrepit old mansions, terrifying secrets, ailing young women, and mysterious men are staples of the horror genre. But this was the first Gothic horror novel I read with a Mexican woman as the protagonist. Noemí Taboada’s recently-married cousin Catalina sends an ominous letter claiming she’s being poisoned and begging for help. After some persuasion from her father, Noemí travels to High Place, the decaying mansion Catalina now calls home, to find out what’s happening to her cousin. Noemí is a wonderful main character, smart, lively, and never passive. The novel reminds me of the Hammer horror films I loved to…

From Nicole's list on contemporary horror written by women.

Noemí Taboada is more than a 1950’s glam socialite—under the gorgeous clothes and bright red lipstick is a smart, tough young woman. Noemí is the rescuer, not the rescued, when she heads off into the Mexican countryside in response to a plea from her newlywed cousin, who feels trapped and terrified in her husband’s family home. The author’s vivid descriptions of a house and family in a state of decay and madness make a visit to the House of Usher look like a stay at a pleasant B&B. The setting is as much a character as the mysterious…

Speaking of immersive reading experiences, this book swept me up and made me feel like part of the story—and better yet, it made me truly care about the characters. I was rooting for Noemi, a strong, resilient main character, for the entire book. And I was equally riveted and terrified as she fought against the nightmarish pull of the gloom, as well as the untrustworthy inhabitants of High House. 

From Elissa's list on that will creep you out.

The compelling premise of Mexican Gothic drew me in instantly. Silvia Moreno-Garcia brilliantly incorporates horror, racism, and colonialism into the haunting plot of this novel. The pages are simultaneously intriguing, bizarre, and unsettling in the most memorable way possible. Moreno-Garcia’s eloquent writing and complex, character-driven storyline make for a truly fascinating read.

From Danielle's list on psychological suspense and thrillers.

A lonely mansion. A strange aristocrat. A fascinating socialite. A secret that lurks in the dark. This is a gorgeously written novel that is weird, wonderful, and creepy while also exploring racism, eugenics, and misogyny. Like if Lovecraft met Wuthering Heights if Wuthering Heights was in 1950s Mexico. Glamour and horror collide in a fantastic way that will keep you turning the pages.

I love a good gothic, and this does not disappoint. A house full of secrets and magic, and a mentally ill family who guards the secrets and magic. I call this a perfect beach read because Moreno-Garcia writes the kind of strong, willful, clever, active heroine we all wish we could see ourselves in a book.

From Jeni's list on secrecy and denial.

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