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The Navi-Gator: a Gator's Guide to Library Resources

Recommended Fiction: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

by Pamela Tarajcak on 2021-09-29T18:56:02-04:00 | Comments

"This house is sick with rot, stinks of decay, brims with every single evil and cruel sentiment....They are cruel and unkind and they will not let me go."  

Cover ArtMexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Call Number: FIC MOR Youngstown collection
ISBN: 9780525620785
Publication Date: 2020-06-30
Pages: 301
Noemi Taboada, beloved daughter and highly accomplished heiress, is happily sailing through the social whirl of upper class, 1950s Mexico.  When her father receives a concerning letter from her newlywed cousin Catalina, speaking of horrors in her house, he is concerned for Catalina's health. So to instill a bit of responsibility on his unmoored socialite daughter, Taboada sends Noemi to visit her cousin, assess what could be happening and advocate for her if necessary.  When Noemi arrives at un-electrified decaying, dank, dark Gothic Victorian pile named High Place, the secretive Doyle family, Catalina's marital family, clashes with the urbane and modern Noemi at every turn and the house becomes oppressively rank.  Virgil, the imperious yet dangerously charming cousin-in-law hovers on the brink of violence at every moment.  His younger, timid, pliable cousin Francis tries to be helpful. Francis's mannered, pious, pretentious, prudish mother Florence oppresses Noemi with ridiculously outdated rules.  And the haughty, racist, quite elderly patriarch Howard tyrannizes over the silent house.  Soon after Noemi's arrival, she feels her sanity unravelling.  Is it connected to the house over which a strange malaise hovers?  Is it connected to the obvious harassments of the Doyle family?   Thus leads Noemi to chilling discovery after chilling discovery.
This novel is so quickly paced that you'll sit down to read it and suddenly find yourself done and wondering where the time went.  Noemi is proactive and daring and caring but yet immature.  Throughout the harrowing quest to care for her cousin and advocate for her against the new creepy in-laws, she gains her maturity. You'll really see her grow throughout the book.  Catalina's condition and the state of the house really make you question what is truly going on at every turn.  Is Virgil really gaslighting Noemi or is he really just protective over his new wife?  Why does Florence need to enforce the rules that heavily?  What is going on with the odd taste of the food in the house? The end is thrilling and chilling.  The nightmares feel so real that you'll get nicely squeamish.  Noemi's relationship with Francis makes you feel uneasy yet strangely assured.
In short, this novel gives the appropriate feel to a good gothic horror novel.  You're ambivalent and questioning your own sanity throughout the whole thing.  Happy Halloween. 

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