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Mexican Gothic (Paperback)
"I haven’t been reading a lot of new books lately, the world just feels a bit too heavy for that, so I keep returning to familiar, comfortable things. But then I picked up Mexican Gothic and it was neither familiar, nor comfortable, and it was so, so wonderful.
If you are a fan of “traditional” gothic novels, this is for you -- it has all the classic tropes: a woman has been taken away from her family by marriage and is now being held (perhaps against her will?) in a house perched on a mountaintop far away from what most would consider civilization; there is a house that boasts disused rooms full of moldering furniture and mildewed books; electricity is patchy at best and the roads are virtually impassible. If you’re a fan of Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, this is for you -- it’s hard to say exactly why without giving away a major plot point, the feeling I got while reading Mexican Gothic was very much the same as that I got from Annihilation (also from Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, one of my all-time favorite books).
In the best possible way, this book made me uncomfortable. After the initial setup, there is no scene in which Noemi is at ease as she tries to navigate her in-laws’ house and the strange environment she finds there. Weirdly, considering how much of the time I spend at least mildly uncomfortable these days, Moreno-Garcia’s ability to create a sense of disquiet was just what I didn’t realize I was missing. The story is fast-paced but never rushed, and the conclusion is just what it ought to be. There are so many people who will enjoy this truly excellent genre-bending story."
--Lucinda, Longfellow Books— From Lucinda Recommends!
July 2020 Indie Next List
“Creepy and romantic, Mexican Gothic is easily one of my favorite books of 2020! Upon receiving a strange letter from her cousin, Noemi Taboada goes to investigate the happenings of High Place, a decaying manor filled with secrets, and is plagued by terrifying dreams and visions. Moreno-Garcia delivers a fresh take on a classic gothic novel that will grab your attention from the very first chapter!”
— Tyrinne Lewis, Rakestraw Books, Danville, CA
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn start Mexican Gothic gets seriously weird.”—The Guardian
IN DEVELOPMENT AS A HULU ORIGINAL LIMITED SERIES PRODUCED BY KELLY RIPA AND MARK CONSUELOS • WINNER OF THE LOCUS AWARD • NOMINATED FOR THE BRAM STOKER AWARD
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, NPR, The Washington Post, Tordotcom, Marie Claire, Vox, Mashable, Men’s Health, Library Journal, Book Riot, LibraryReads
An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.
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 Noemi’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.
“It’s as if a supernatural power compels us to turn the pages of the gripping Mexican Gothic.”—The Washington Post
“Mexican Gothic is the perfect summer horror read, and marks Moreno-Garcia with her hypnotic and engaging prose as one of the genre’s most exciting talents.”—Nerdist
“A period thriller as rich in suspense as it is in lush ’50s atmosphere.”—Entertainment Weekly
About the Author
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed speculative novels Gods of Jade and Shadow, Signal to Noise, Certain Dark Things, and The Beautiful Ones; and the crime novel Untamed Shore. She has edited several anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award–winning She Walks in Shadows (aka Cthulhu’s Daughters). She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“An inspired mash-up of Jane Eyre, Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, Dracula, Rebecca and that 1958 classic sci-fi movie, The Blob . . . Inventive and smart, [Mexican Gothic is] injecting the Gothic formula with some fresh blood.”—NPR’s Fresh Air
“Stylish and edgy. . . While the book draws inspiration from Gothic classics like Rebecca and Jane Eyre—there is a spunky female protagonist and an ancient house filled with disturbing secrets—its archly intelligent tone and insightful writing make Mexican Gothic an original escape to an eerie world.”—New York Times
“[An] irresistibly dark feminist reimagining of the Gothic fantasy novel . . . It’s all wonderfully creepy, blending chilling scenes of horror with classic Gothic tropes for a seductive and subversive tale. A book to devour in a few—very thrilling—sittings.”—Vanity Fair
“The author’s postcolonial spin on the gothic tradition evokes the usual suspects: Daphne du Maurier, Emily Brontë, Mary Shelley, even Anne Radcliffe. Like those authors, Moreno-Garcia works in a tradition in which chills and thrills tap into elemental cultural fears—runaway science, carnal passion. But to these she adds a more politically inflected horror, both ancient and timely.”—Los Angeles Times
“A new classic of the genre . . . alluring and foreboding, ambiguous and beautiful. And like its heroine Noemí, its ambitious, determined, and well worth getting to know.”—Chicago Review of Books
“This twisty horror fantasy is engrossing and wonderfully repulsive. . . . This is a must-read for fans of gothic writers like the Brontës, Daphne du Maurier, and Shirley Jackson, and also for those who enjoy the feminist, surreal fiction of Carmen Maria Machado.”—Buzzfeed
“Deliciously creepy . . . Read it with your lights on—and know that strange dreams might begin to haunt you, as they haunted Noemí.”—Vox
“Masterful . . . a gloriously moody adventure, spooky, smart, and wry. Chic, no-nonsense Noemí Taboada is one hell of a tour guide through this world of mystery, scandal and spirits.”—Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling
“Mexican Gothic terrified and fascinated me. Silvia Moreno-Garcia proves once again that she's a genre-jumping wizard, one of the most exciting and necessary authors writing today.”—Charlie Jane Anders, nationally bestselling author of The City in the Middle of the Night
“Darkly brilliant and captivating . . . Readers who love old houses and family secrets will devour this book (as I did!). The setting itself—High Place, with its reputation for swallowing the dreams of young women—is a character in this marvelously fantastical novel, stretching from glamorous 1950s Mexican high society to the crumbling pride of an abandoned silver mine. Silvia Moreno-Garcia enthralls with this twisty tale of love and betrayal.”—Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Tiger and The Ghost Bride