From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a novel set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.
After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed 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 Noemi’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.
SO SPOOKY, SO SOON!
Are they drugging her cousin? What is this letter about?! Noemí is GOING?!
I mean fair enough to want to go check it out for that deal let alone wanting to help your cousin, but man, I would be peeing myself after reading that letter and then going to that house.
My thoughts while reading this was just like a consistent stream of ‘HOLY CRAP NO WAY’ and it was such an addictive novel because of this, the creepy factor was up at like 200%.
Moreno-Garcia had the slow tension and creepers down to a perfection and managed to keep me on the edge of my seat the whole freakin novel, I ain’t even mad about the nightmares or the fact that I now side-eye one of my favorite things in the produce aisle.
Atmosphere was KEY and so Moreno-Garcia wove you into this spooky house covered by fog, with a cemetery, and something that seems to be almost a living quality to the house.
I demand a horror show out of this. DEMAND.
Poor Catalina, she proved to be stronger and braver than I could have imagined and loved that though she wasn’t the main focus. that she had such a strong part in her own way. But honestly, I adored Noemí and would fight to the death for her, what an amazing bundle of wits, sass, and determination.
And through all of this Moreno-Garcia manages to give us an amazing love story, like, what even is this life anymore? I’m telling you the love story was PERFECTION!
All the characters of the house were exceedingly creepy and yet unique in all their own ways and personalities and holy cow the reveals in this book had me shook and so much jaw-dropping was involved.
Did I mention that Moreno-Garcia also manages to tackle the issue of Spaniards from the colonial times and how it affected them still in the present day of the book? I loved that the house was this ode to Gothic literature in itself but it also showed that the family or at least the head of the family’s obsession with its European roots are strong and that their family caused so much tragedy for the village/town.
If this seems vague, I really just don’t want to give ANYTHING away. I even downloaded the little book club kit thing, and am I playing with a paper doll as we speak? You bet. For those of you curious about the kit, here’s the link: https://www.silviamoreno-garcia.com/blog/novels/mexicangothic/
This was the perfect haunted house/spooky story and if you have not read this book I encourage you to do so with all my little black, coffee addicted, heart. Sincerely this book was perfection for me, and the fact that it was OwnVoices made it all that much more amazing for me. [I am half Mexican-American, white-passing, so I don’t feel comfortable saying this was an OwnVoices review in tags when I have white privilege.]
5/5 Cups of Coffee, please check out her other novels, and please support diversity in bookstores by buying and/or raving about books like this and so many more ❤
ALSO. IF YOU NEED MORE CONVINCING:
Do you want some music while you read? Here’s her playlist for it!