“Mexican Gothic” by. Silvia Moreno-Garcia
A Book Review with SPOILERS
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The, “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno Garcia opens up with a party and a couple that is quickly leaving it. From the beginning, it is clear that Noemi Taboada is the main character. Initially, the opening scene didn’t make too much of an impression on me until after I finished the story. Looking back, I think the author did an excellent job setting up Noemi’s character and letting the reader know right off that she was a strong-willed woman. She proves this multiple times throughout the story when she sets Noemi up to challenge authority and work her way around the obstacles that keep her from escaping.
Noemi leaves the party when her father summons her home. Upon arrival, she is thinking that she’s in trouble, but really there is a family issue. Her cousin Catalina had married Virgil Doyle quickly and against her uncle’s wishes. Now she has sent an ominous letter that has her uncle and cousin questioning her sanity and the intention of her husband. Noemi is sent to investigate her cousins situation. She arrives at Catalina’s new home, High Place and finds her cousin is in worse shape then she had expected because sometimes she is okay and other times she is seeing things.
Her first encounter with the family is with Francis Doyle, a tall skinny man that is kind to her. She is introduced to Patriarc of the family Howard Doyle a couple of times when she first gets there. Here is were he expresses his belief around a superior race and she counters this discussion.
She does some poking around the town and discovers some of the families dark secrets including the murderous daughter Ruth who killed several family members before killing herself. She also learns of a sickness that would affect the workers of the Doyle mines before they were closed down. It was believed there was a curse on the Doyle family.
Eventually, Noemi begins having nightmares about Ruth and sleep walking. Fearing that she is starting to lose touch with reality she decides to leave High Place and her cousin to try to find help. Before she leaves though she is taken into see Howard Doyle. Things get really crazy after this and she learns that Howard Doyle has actually lived several lives and is over 300 years old. He is an evil man that has used his family members to create in incestuous, what he believes, superior race. However, because of the incestuous relationships the family is no longer able to reproduce so he has to bring in fresh genes to start the cycle over again, and he wants Noemi and her cousin Catalina to be a part of that.
There were many parts of this book that I enjoyed, but one particular description had me cringing. When Noemi is taken to Howard Doyle’s room before she leaves. Silvia Moreno-Garica wrote such a detailed description of the naked grotesque man laying on the bed that when he reached over and grabbed Noemi, my skin crawled. When he forced his mouth on hers, I felt sick to my stomach for her.
Absolutely! You should go grab this book. This is the first book of Silv
ia Moreno-Garcia that I have read, and I assure you I am now a new fan and I will be binging her books. As for this book, excellent writing, fantastic descriptions, and just an all-around great book.
The audiobook version I just bought for mom!