Mexican Gothic Book Review
I have been seeing this book all over Instagram and couldn't wait to get my hands on it! Perhaps it was because of all of the hype that I felt a little bit let down by this one because it definitely wasn't one of my favorites (as I'd anticipated).
What I liked:
I loved the eerie atmosphere in this book. From the beginning, it has a "Yellow Wallpaper" vibe, which is my FAVORITE creepy read of all time. I loved the almost haunted feel from the very beginning of the book when Noemi first arrives at the mansion looking for her cousin. So many creepy things occur right away--from the staff at the house to Virgil to the silent dinners. I loved how the author established that vibe right away.
I also liked the last 20% of the book because it was intriguing--very, very weird, but intriguing all the same. It was unlike any book I'd ever read before, which was a good thing.
I liked how Noemi's character wasn't predictable and was a strong protagonist.
What I didn't like:
I didn't like the pure Rebecca vibes at the beginning of the book. It felt so similar to the movie I watched (I didn't read the book), and for me, that detracted from the story. I also felt like the pacing/flow was off. It seemed almost like two different books. The first sixty percent of the book was pretty dull, slow, and rooted in realism. The fantasy elements that were introduced in the last part of the book, thus, didn't feel as rooted in the story and I had a hard time suspending disbelief. While there were some creepy scenes for sure, I was pulled out of the horror element by the truly odd storyline. This one is memorable, but it definitely didn't resonate with me. I found myself skimming the last chapter just to finish it because I wasn't as invested as I would like.
All in all, I gave this one a 3.5 stars. The writing is certainly stellar. It was just the overall plot and pacing that fell flat for me. I definitely recommend you check it out, though, if you like a dark, gothic read with a strong supernatural element.
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed 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.
USA TODAY Bestselling Thriller author with Avon Books (HarperCollins), The Widow Next Door