Bethany's Reviews > Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2020-interested, 2020-faves-6-stars, botm

5-min. spoiler-free video review here:

Let's be clear: this book is a gothic horror novel, not a romance. So if you are looking for something akin to Wuthering Heights, you are definitely going to be disappointed. If, however, you are looking for a smart and atmospheric horror novel with a creepy house, then this might be right up your alley. I will say, check trigger/content warnings below if you need them, because there are plenty.

Mexican Gothic is set in 1950's Mexico and follows Noemi, an exuberant woman in her twenties, who travels to a creepy old estate to check on her cousin. A cousin who had written a disturbing letter after marrying a member of the family who owns this possibly haunted estate. I could not put this book down, through all the dark twists and turns that it takes. And the author does the thing I most love when reading horror- she uses the genre as a way of talking about larger issues. In this case? Colonization, cultural appropriation, racism, and misogyny. At points the horror elements are used as metaphors for these larger concepts, but are brilliantly woven into a disturbing yet compelling story with a satisfying conclusion.

I won't say much more because I don't want to spoil things, but I absolutely loved this book. Silvia Moreno-Garcia has become a favorite author for me and I love the project of her writing career, which is writing in a variety of genres not typically associated with Latinx writers. Her style really works for me and she weaves Mexican culture and history into everything in fascinating ways and tells wonderfully nuances stories that keep me hooked while also saying something larger. Her books take a slower pace that isn't everyone's cup of tea, and may defy genre expectations, but I love the strong character work and focus on building the world with a sense of place and time.

Do be aware that there are many content/trigger warnings for this one, though I see why she chose to use these elements the way that she did. They include: sexual assault, incest, drugging, murder, forced suicide, infanticide, cannibalism, rituals, body horror, discussions of eugenics and racial inferiority, gaslighting, and forms of mental and emotional control. (view spoiler)
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Reading Progress

November 23, 2019 – Shelved
November 23, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
November 23, 2019 – Shelved as: 2020-interested
July 13, 2020 – Started Reading
July 14, 2020 – Finished Reading
July 19, 2020 – Shelved as: 2020-faves-6-stars
July 30, 2020 – Shelved as: botm

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Desirai HOLY SHIT. I'm reading this now but had no idea it contained so much. Luckily, I haven't yet encountered anything I needed a warning for... but wow. That's a lot.

Bethany Desirai wrote: "HOLY SHIT. I'm reading this now but had no idea it contained so much. Luckily, I haven't yet encountered anything I needed a warning for... but wow. That's a lot."

Yeah, it is a lot. I didn't quite realize how many things until I sat down to write my review! Oddly most of it didn't bother me that much? And even the things that normally would I did okay with because I could kind of see them as a metaphor.

Damien Roberts I really liked this too. Thought the overall theme in regard to the men constantly controlling women was done VERY well.

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