Moody Defiance in ‘Mexican Gothic’ by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The deep plum and emerald hues on the cover of ‘Mexican Gothic’ by Silvia Moreno-Garcia are the first hint of how rich this novel feels. The sentences will make you feel tipsy at first and then warm you like a thick red wine. However, this story is not for the hungry (that is, unless you hunger for flipping pages).

Be ready for stomach turning details that will make you want to clean your bathroom seven times and run a dehumidifier. This is definitely a horror story, but with an old-fashioned feel, like the horror of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Yet there are more modern elements too, despite being set in the 1950s.

The modern elements are reflected in the social attitudes of the protagonist, attitudes which hint at feminism, anti-racism, and anti-imperialism. The story’s modernity paired with its moodiness is aptly reflected in the tracks Moreno-Garcia has put together in the book’s playlist. Especially in songs like this one:

The repetitive rhythm depicts the frustration the protagonist feels as her beliefs conflict with the beliefs of her antagonists. The song has a sort of push/pull feel to its style that also alludes to the protagonist’s conflict. And the covers from the playlist, like “Tainted Love,” echo the way the story taps into the nostalgia of the gothic novels that came before it. If you’re at all on the fence about whether or not to read this book, listen to this playlist and let yourself read into the lyrics a bit. If you’re intrigued, get your hands on this book.

This novel might be your next read:

  • If you’re looking for a new take on old favorites
  • If you’re looking to be creeped out and filled with dread
  • If you’re looking for a satisfying resolution
  • If you’re looking to exist in the thin space between reality, history, the fictional, and the surreal
  • If you’re looking for a charming yet dissenting heroine

Photo Credit: Random House LLC via Amazon