book reviews

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Book Review

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Seriously, this inter-text woven with gothic lore, fantasy hijinks, a dash of romance, and riveting plot twists make for an excellent book. I haven’t binged a book this hard in a while!

I was skeptical at first about this book because it was new, hot and everyone was loving it. I don’t always agree with the masses, but that cover was so pretty and I couldn’t resist. The more I heard about it, the more I knew that I had to pick up this book. While it took a while, I did manage to get my hands on a copy and I devoured this book (pun intended).

Noemí is a twenty-something Mexican woman who has an eye for education. She’s not your typical lady in the 1950s who wanted to get married, have the house of her dreams and have babies. She’s kind of all over the place, since she keeps changing her mind but she knows she’s destined for something greater. Her cousin and former best friend/partner in crime, Catalina, sends home a letter from her new home with her new husband. Things are strange and not going well, and she needs our leading lady to help. Noemí’s Father steps in and offers to pay for her Masters degree if she goes to help Catalina, so off goes our knight in shining armour to save the day. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

The house Catalina lives at is in the middle of nowhere and in a spooky house on a hill that’s close to nothing. The family’s mine is shut down, their backyard graveyard is packed full, and they are just plain weird. Dark secrets, mystical elements, and a potential suitor for Noemí are all packed in this gothic romance story that will take you on a roller coaster trip of emotions.

This book was binge worthy! It’s one of my highly recommended reads for 2022. I could hardly put the book down even when I knew I should. The references to Jane Eyre, Dracula, and other gothic tales are prevalent and make the book even more enjoyable. Throw in that Silvia Moreno-Garcia adds in some essays near the end to discuss gothic reads and references some of my family’s faves (like V.C. Andrews!) and it’s a real winner for me.

The plot twists are wild and Silvia’s writing is so charming and obsessive. It’s a horror novel with lots of triggers throughout though – sexual harassment, sexual violence, talks of incest, and body horror. It’s not for the light hearted, but it’s just so good at the same time. I haven’t had this much fun with a horror novel in ages, and I’m just absolutely delighted I picked it up. I almost wish there was more, but the book left off at just the right place for me to feel satisfied.

I can’t really come up with negatives parts of this book, which makes it really stand out. Normally, I can find a few points as to why a book wouldn’t be good, but this book just blew my socks off. I want to re-read it, which is rare for a reader like me. It’s spooky, gothic, horror-filled and brings out my inner Halloween-obsessed self.

Post-colonial gothic mixed with male gothic is quite the combination and I’m digging it. With the wackiness of this novel, you’d think I’d be grossed out but I just kept coming back for me. That’s what a good horror author does, and man… does Silvia make it work. Deceit, lies, gossip, betrayal… It’s great!

If you love horror and gothic novels, you need to pick this book up. I think it’s a masterpiece and Silvia is perfecting her craft. I will definitely be picking up more books by the lovely Silvia Moreno-Garcia whenever I get the chance. It’s one of the best pieces of fiction I’ve read in a long time.

Five out of five stars. Can I give it six out of five stars? Seriously, it was that good. It’s safe to say that this is a new personal fave of mine. If this isn’t one of the top books published in 2020, then I don’t know what is.

Ready for a few spooks and scares? Check out this book by clicking on the links below:

Want to peruse my personal collection? Here are some other horror-filled faves from my blog:
Pumpkins by Kevin Miller
Two Mothers by K. Kris Loomis
It by Stephen King

Are you an avid reader too? Why not hit me up on my socials so we can chat about all things fiction (or non-fiction!).
Twitter: #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic
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Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads


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