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Jane Eyre Meets Dracula in Mexican Gothic!

July 11, 2020
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From Silvia Morena-Garcia, the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow, comes Mexican Gothic, a feminist gothic horror set in 1950's Mexico. NPR recently gave a rave review, calling the horror novel "a ghastly treat to read." 

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. We're told, upon the father's meeting of Noemí, he "vivisect[s] the young woman with his gaze" and declares, "You are much darker than your cousin, Miss Taboada."

And there, we realize the novel isn't simply escapist fiction. Morena-Garcia dives into racism and feminism through the world of horror, with an antagonist who turns out to be a "raging eugenicist, one who believes mixed-race people like Noemí are inferior." For the independent female characters of Mexican Gothic, "marriage threatens to be a premature burial." 

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind, even as it begins to invade her dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Mexican Gothic is "inventive and smart, injecting the Gothic formula with some fresh blood." You won't be able to put it down!

NPR article

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