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Mexican Gothic
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ARCHIVE - BOTM discussions > Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia - September 2020

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message 1: by Kristie, Moderator (last edited Aug 15, 2020 08:39AM) (new)

Kristie | 5143 comments The group chose to read Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia in September as our "historical fiction" themed read. Please discuss here and remember to use spoiler tags as needed, as everyone may start at different times and read at different speeds.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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. “It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn start Mexican Gothic gets seriously weird” (The Guardian).

After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed 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

message 2: by Mairy (new) - added it

Mairy (books_and_heels) | 10 comments I am excited about this one!

Sarah | 14 comments Just finished this one a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it, can't wait to see everyone else's thoughts!

Nikki | 10 comments Very excited for this read! Should be delivering in the mail today.

ximena (ximenagm) | 5 comments oh nice! i'm currently reading it. i really hope it's good.

message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 1 star

Amy Finished this about a month ago... It has great reviews but I didn't really like it. Looking forward to the discussion!

Alekhya Suma | 106 comments I just finished the first 9 chapters. It seems interesting so far but didn't reach the stage where I can put it down yet. Looking forward to what lies in wait! :D

Shawnee | 3 comments I just finished this one about 5 minutes ago. It was good but it wasn’t as good as I expected it to be. I’m not sure if I over-hyped the book in my mind or if I wanted more. Anyone else feel this way?

Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 1253 comments I just picked it up from my library and expect to start sometime next week. Apart from the cool name I don't have any idea what to expect.

Alekhya Suma | 106 comments I just finished it. Even when I was halfway through the book, I did feel like it was over-hyped. But as I went through with, I liked it more and more. As much as I wish I read this book without the air of expectations surrounding it, I still ended up loving it anyway.
I'll keep participating in the discussion throughout the month because I have discovered that- seeing other people's perspectives can do wonders on you own! ❤️

Reese Sunshine (recoveryreese) | 2 comments I am really enjoying this book so far! I am not even halfway through, but the plot is consistent and pretty interesting!

ximena (ximenagm) | 5 comments so i finished this 2 days ago and it was okay. i definitely think it's overhyped. i loved the protagonist and the LI, and the antagonists were terrifying which is good but some other things i definitely didn't like. some stuff made me really anxious for the entire second half and not in a good way.

anyways... i'd love to hear what everyone else thinks.

message 13: by Donna (new) - added it

Donna (goodredscomuser_vienna) Receiving my BOTM pic soon!

message 14: by Ravin (last edited Sep 05, 2020 11:09PM) (new) - added it

Ravin Bulramaya | 6 comments Just finished it.

Not really my cup of tea, so I didn't enjoy it that much. Ending was mildly satisfying, but getting there felt tedious and just like a bad trip. I guess books which rely heavily on dreamlike sequences are just not my thing.

Also, I'd say that was a poor choice for the Historical Fiction pick.

Ah well, onto the next one now.

Susan | 2 comments So far, so good, but how scary is Mexican Gothic?

Hannah Robinson (hanesther) | 21 comments Read this one last month since it was my BOTM choice. Unfortunately, I gave it 2 stars. Really not my thing. I know it's horror genre which I don't ever read, but so many people grouped it with Jane Eyre and Rebecca which I LOVED so I thought I'd give it a go. It went WAY too far for me and was far more horror than Jane Eyre and Rebecca. Not sure how they compare honestly. I also felt this book should have been given a few trigger warnings on sexual assault and cannibalism. Definitely for some people, I'm just not one of them.

message 17: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 5143 comments This is so interesting - so far, our group members have rated this book everything from 1 to 5 stars.

Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 1253 comments I'm half way through. I'm liking it but not loving it. I didn't have any expectation going in but I thought it would have more of a Mexican feel to it. Maybe because the main family are English and they have tried to recreate their little piece of England and English customs in Mexico. But really apart from Noemi and her brief mentions of her life before she got to High Place I'm not feeling it.

I'll read on...

Eléonore | 1 comments Just finished it. It was one of the first "horror" books I have ever read and I am a bit disappointed. It is not as scary and captivating as I expected, but more disturbing in a way. However, I really enjoyed the main character and the whole setting.

Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 1253 comments I finished this afternoon.

Wow, the last fifty pages were intense. A little difficult to get your head around but did ring true to the gothic horror genre. Just a pity that the first half of the book was slow and didn't seem to be going anywhere.

3.5 stars

Nikki | 10 comments i finished this book last Friday i believe and just can't put it into words, so here is my best shot...
i really did enjoy the book at first, i couldn't put it down because i wanted to know what was going on in that house. when they finally started revealing things it got weird, but overall i enjoyed the book. i liked reading something outside my normal genres.

Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?) (doyoudogear) | 6 comments Starting this tonight! I absolutely loved Gods of Jade and Shadow.

message 23: by Lex (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lex (lexi_liese) | 136 comments I am (not very patiently) waiting for this to get to me at the library, but 39 holds each on the eBook and paper copy. I told myself I can't sign back up for Book of the Month until I've read ALL of the books I already own, but I have definitely considered making an exception lol

message 24: by Tam (last edited Sep 20, 2020 05:59AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tam I like a good gothic novel, especially when the nights turn chilly. I finished Mexican Gothic last night and I gave it three stars. It had all of the ingredients for a good goosebump read, and I cannot account for why it just didn't gel for me. The premise was fairly original and we even got a Mrs Danvers character. I think for me, it was the protagonist. Noemí had a fierce inner dialogue, but she didn't do much other than a few feeble attempts until the end when it was nearly too late. Gross factor was high, which I don't mind a bit if the story is taking me on that wild ride we book lovers live for. But the ride was flat and for me, so was the story.

message 25: by Glen (last edited Sep 20, 2020 09:04PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Glen | 19 comments For what it is worth, this is my first group read.

What I liked: The sense of atmosphere built up in the first half, despite very little actually happening, You knew something fairly unpleasant was going on, even if you had no idea what it was. Also, the last third of the book definitely kept me driven to find out how it would end.

What I liked a little less: The actual reveal of what was happening.

I hadn't really thought about it until other people mentioned it, but the book does seem to not be a great fit for the Historical Fiction category (though, being new here, perhaps I don't have solid grasp of the category's intent.)

Anyway, I liked the book and while I am not going to run right out to the bookstore, I will add the author's name to my list of writers who I would consider buying other works from.

Alekhya Suma | 106 comments Ravin wrote: "Just finished it.

Not really my cup of tea, so I didn't enjoy it that much. Ending was mildly satisfying, but getting there felt tedious and just like a bad trip. I guess books which rely heavily..."

Though I did like the book, I resonate with Ravin in that we didn't pick the best choice for historical fiction.

Reese Sunshine (recoveryreese) | 2 comments I finished the book today and I’m a bit disappointed. I really enjoy horror novels but this book really didn’t give that terrifying vibe. I do feel they should’ve added a trigger warning involving sexual assault.

Ellen | 2 comments I don’t usually read horror at all and I only read this book during the day time😂 but I loved it! It was scary but more mysterious than anything else and definitely kept me hooked. It had a sort of hunger games ending that I think most books with traumatized characters have (that is definitely a little better than when the main antagonist in a scary movie comes back to life in the last 2 seconds of the film, once everyone is happy) that I don’t love, but I wouldn’t know how else to end it. Overall the characters, the scientific mystery, the magic, it was all new to me and I think I’ll look into reading more if this genre.

Alison Peacock | 2 comments Wow. This book was so much more than I expected, although the first few chapters hinted that the rest would be full of trite tropes. I wasn’t sure about our spoiled heroine at first, either, and I was preparing to be disappointed. But then I found all sorts of subtleties that changed the genre. I’m not an expert on Gothic suspense, but I know I love the way the classics make me feel. This was no exception, and it updated the conversation with a brown voice and perspective, even thought the usual English manor house had been brought to Mexico.

SPOILER ALERT. The abuse shrouded in eroticism that is so central to these stories is also updated here, as our heroine struggles with feeling disgust at the same time she succumbs partly to what we learn is mind control. As all these novels do, this one plays with dreams vs reality, questions of what is real and what is mental illness, and questions of drugged states, but this story toys with the question of which drugs are the problem.

I knew from the beginning this would be a tale of eugenics gone even more wrong, but the mushrooms were a welcome twist—I love the idea of them being alive but needing a mind to complete their network. There is a lot more to think about here than I anticipated! I also love how the ending is ambiguous and continues the theme of what is reality and what is fantasy. Will they make it happily ever after, or will the house still haunt them? Or will they end up in a Mexican prison? So much room for a sequel.

Apparently there was a bidding war to make this a series—10 competing bids! I can’t wait to see what Hulu does with this. I highly recommend this book, but readers should know going in it is horror, and it is intense.

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 10 comments This was one of my top 3 reads of last year. I am a big fan of gothic fiction and this also had a slightly Lovecraftian feel to it.

Glad to know Gods of Jade & Shadow is good as I picked it up at a sale over on Google Play.

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