After devouring my way way through The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (read about that here), I was eager to delve into more of her work. Her work is very reminiscent to that of Erin Morgenstein or Oscar de Muriel to me. It has the ability to completely transport you to their created world which is beyond magical to me.
Mexican Gothic follows Noemi who lives a glamorous socialite lifestyle in Mexico City until her father receives a letter from her newly-wed cousin and sends Noemi as an ambassador to check up on her cousins new life. She is soon being sent to High Place, her cousins new home set high in the mountains to stay with her cousin and her husbands family the Doyles. With the home in a dilapidated state and the Doyles being cold and harsh at times, Noemi’s curiosity gets the better of her and secrets are quickly unearthed and its unclear what else she will discover or if she will make it out alive.
I enjoyed this read so much. Originally I went into this book comparing it to The Beautiful Ones, but about a third of the way through I realised that it is entirely different. Any comparison between the two would be unfair. One thing I have noticed though is that Silvia has a beautiful ability to write surroundings in such vivid detail that really draw you into the world she has created. She also does a fantastic job at creating characters that you love to hate. In The Beautiful Ones she creates the venomous Valerie, in Mexican Gothic she creates the charismatic but stern Virgil and then the stoic-b!tch Florence too.
A woman who is not liked is a bitch, and a bitch can hardly do anything: all avenues are closed to her
The book opens with Noemi being sent off to High Place quite quickly and while we don’t get to see much of her life in Mexico City, you get enough of a glimpse and references throughout the book to know that Noemi is in every sense of the word a socialite or chic debutant of her society. This fact contrasts nicely with her commentary about High Place in its’ rundown manner and general shabbiness, along with its lack of electricity and warmth.
I enjoyed this read so much and like The Beautiful Ones, this has made me want to delve into more of Silvia’s works. I would say that I’m glad I read them in this order. While I love how dark and mysterious this book was, I did really love the warmth and romance that The Beautiful Ones exuded. Mexican Gothic is a read I would highly recommend, especially at this time of the year when the nights draw in earlier and the air is cooler.
Cheerio for now!