Book cover for 'Mexican Gothic' by Silvia Moreno-GarciaI got a bit distracted from my regular reading sessions shortly after I started Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, which is a shame because I was spellbound from the first page and continued to be so as soon as I picked it up again. Set in 1950s Mexico, this creepy gothic horror follows Noemí Taboada, a pampered socialite who travels to a decrepit manor house after her cousin, who married into the odd aristocratic English family living there, started sending them feverish, alarming letters. She quickly finds that something is deeply, disturbingly wrong with the family and their mouldy house, but extricating her cousin and herself proves a lot harder than arriving there.

Horror isn’t a genre that I read a lot of, I suppose because while there are some tropes of the genre that really appeal to me, there are others (like gore…) that really do not. Perhaps I should look more into gothic literature specifically, because I loved everything about this. The disquieting wrongness, the sense of dread, the atmosphere, the disturbing nightmares, and the strong theme of independence vs. compulsion were all so gripping. Some other reviews have complained about the slow pace of this novel, but I didn’t feel that at all; on a couple of occasions I spent an entire hour reading this book without feeling like that length of time had passed at all. It was so absorbing! And the last third or so when all the secrets of the house and the family started to unravel and the plot accelerated along with it… I mean, I’m running out of synonyms so I’ll just say I could barely stand to glance away from my screen. It was that mesmerising.

This has probably been one of the most hyped books of the year, but for once I can say this one deserved it. A full five stars from me!