Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Length: 302 pages
Source: My subscription to Book of the Month Club
Stars: 4 Stars
This cover! I think it’s just gorgeous.
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.
For some reason, my reading journey this year took me to the Gothic novels section of the bookshelf. I started out in January with a newly released Gothic style novel. And, you know, even though it is marketed as a Gothic novel, it just isn’t as Gothic as I would like.
Luckily for me, this book came to my attention in the late winter. And I couldn’t wait to read it. And, as you will see in this review I really liked this book.
This is a classic Gothic novel. It hits every trope, and I love that. There is a bit of a feminist twist that I love and it leans of the true horror of 19th century colonialism, too. And it is creepy as can be.Things seen from the corner of the eye. Weird dreams that linger at the edge of consciousness. The writing is so evocative, too. I can almost smell the rot and decay of the house and surrounding land. It’s really perfect for a Halloween read.
And I have to say that I kike the heroine, Noemí, a lot. She is a kick ass, save herself and everyone she loves kind of woman. We need more of these types in literature today.
Not so much:
I have to say that there is a section where the pacing slows. And it feels as if the plot is just spinning it’s wheels. But when it gets going again the pace picks up and sends you right on down the road to the final conflict.
What I’ll remember:
What I will remember is how the author pays homage to many 19th and early 20th century Gothic and feminist novels. Jane Eyre and The Yellow Wallpaper and Rebecca. And this book really has Rebecca vibes. And that’s a good thing, because I do love Rebecca.
Would I recommend?
Yes! It’s a feminist/own voices twist on an old trope that updates it and pays homage to those stories that have come before. Plus, Fall is upon us and Halloween is creeping near, and this book would be a perfect eerie Fall or October read.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Have you read this book? Do you agree with my thoughts on it? Let me know. I love seeing what people think about the books I read.
Happy Reading, y’all.