Book Notes: Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Read Oct 18, 2021 - Oct 22, 2021

The language in the first few pages of Mexican Gothic felt oddly stilted and unpleasant. But soon, both the language and action smooth into a haunting page-turner about a young Mexican woman visiting her ill cousin in the rural home of the cousin’s new family. Before long, the boundaries between reality and dream, sanity and madness, start to blur disturbingly, making for a pitch-perfect horror story. I couldn’t stop looking.

Moreno-Garcia’s depiction of 1950s post-colonial rural Mexico makes the story even more compelling. An English family still lives at the top of the literal hill. Despite their much-diminished fortune, they cling to outdated ideas of their importance and status. They are disdainful and unapologetic about their racism and can barely tolerate the Mexican heroine, who they see as an “inferior type.” The exchanges between the English men and our protagonist are convincing misogyny studies.

A thrilling read, very appropriate for the Halloween season.

Book Highlights

[…] there are ghosts and then there are ghosts. The ones that wear bedsheets over their heads are much less terrifying than the ones left by the sins of our ancestors.

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