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 Noemí’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.
“What is a Gothic novel? Romantic fiction with a prevailing atmosphere of suspense or terror.”
In high school I remember reading this short story, The Yellow Wallpaper. The gist of the story is this woman suffering from depression goes on vacation to this haunted looking house with her controlling doctor/husband and becomes obsessed with this ugly yellow wallpaper. She thinks she can see women trapped in it, desperate to escape, and eventually she thinks she too has come from the wallpaper. She slowly spirals into insanity. Mexican Gothic reminded me of that story, are they too descending into madness or is something more sinister happening?
The writing was the perfect blend of pacing and description. Not too wordy but enough to truly paint a picture of not only the setting but the characters. A majority of the story takes place in the outdated and creepy house in a small mining town that no longer has a mine. A ghost town of what once was. We constantly have this creepy atmosphere hovering over the entire story. The vibes were immaculate, utterly bone chilling.
Noemi is this firecracker of a woman, strong willed and smart as hell if not a little bit sassy and self absorbed. I enjoyed how self sufficient and confident she was. The Doyle family was this whole other level of just plain weird. They immediately set off alarm bells in my head, except for Francis. I was never too sure what to think of him but I wanted to like him.
We constantly have this feeling of suspicion. Is Catalina, Noemi’s cousin who married Virgil Doyle, depressed and losing her mind or are the drugging her? Noemi is an unreliable narrator. She’s either missing pieces to this giant puzzle or going insane herself. We get some sort of explanation about halfway through, but I didn’t trust it. I was waiting for a final twist at the end to blow it all up.
The ending left a lot to be desired. It felt unfinished or that we needed it to not be over so abruptly. I think that was the authors intent though. I really enjoyed this books though and couldn’t put it down. I NEEDED to know what the heck was going on in that house and I was not let down.