Mexican Gothic Promising but became a hotmess
At 2 am this morning I finished reading, “Mexican Gothic,” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I wasn’t feeling my best and thought, why not finish this book that I started Saturday afternoon on my kindle fire? I’ve come so far in the book and it’s been awhile since a book kept me up late I might as well. The book I will give it credit, got me out of a bad book rut. Unfortunately what started off as promising became a hot mess. The book wasn’t great but it’s something to read when there is nothing else.
Socialite Noemí Taboada, and her family receive a troubling letter from Noemi’s cousin Catalina. Catalina claims she is in trouble and that her new husband and his family are killing her. Noemi then goes to where Catalina and her in laws reside in the Mexican countryside in a manor named, High Place. The book is described as Gothic Horror.
The pros were, plot was interesting. I like the fact that it takes place in 1950s Mexico. Although the main characters weren’t my favorite, I did enjoy the side characters of Catalina, the ghosts, and Marta Duval. Marta’s character was humorous as she didn’t smoke, but she claimed the expensive brand of cigarettes Noemi used were the ones Saint Jude liked. Marta also told Noemi some of the history of The Doyles and the Manor but you don’t find out everything till the end. I wish Marta had a larger role than she did in the novel. Catalina seemed more mature and level headed than Noemi. The writing was descriptive and it gave you the feeling you were actually in that spooky manor.
Unfortunately there were several cons. I felt like for the name of the novel, “Mexican Gothic,” that we didn’t get a lot of the Mexican culture in the book. The Doyles which consisted of Howard (the Patriarch), Florence, Virgil (Catalina’s husband) and Francis (Virgil’s cousin) were all English and Francis was the only one who knew Spanish. Also an English manor in a Spanish speaking country seemed very out of place for me. It makes one wonder what was the point of having the novel take place in Mexico if you barely have any of the Mexican culture in it? Unfortunately none of the main characters were likeable and the character I liked the least was the female lead Noemi. Noemi is shallow, immature and doesn’t always think before she speaks or acts. Noemi at one point has sexual dreams of her and Virgil despite knowing the fact that he’s really no good, and the evil manor is used as an excuse for why she had some weird lust for him sure….. The chemistry between Noemi and Francis was non-existent and Noemi kept comparing Francis to his cousin Virgil as being the not attractive awkward boy who was never approached by women. If Noemi thought all these things about Francis what attracts her to him? Also the mystery behind the family and the house was extremely farfetched even for me. The ending also felt like it could have been resolved more.
While the book was entertaining it unfortunately became a hot mess later on. Some of the pacing was slow. What would have benefitted the book was if an editor told Silvia Moreno-Garcia which ideas worked and which ideas didn’t. While it was a hot mess, was it the worst book I’ve read? No. Did “Mexican Gothic,” get me out of a book rut and keep me entertained at points? Yes. Also a positive is, since it’s a kindle book, I didn’t spend a ton of money on this. If I spent money on a physical copy I would have been more annoyed.