Mexican Gothic

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“Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a whirlwind of a book. Set in the Mexican countryside in the 1950s, “Mexican Gothic” follows Noemi Taboada to a decrepit mansion owned by the Doyle family. Her cousin Catalina, a recent newlywed, married to Virgil Doyle after an alarmingly short courtship, sends Noemi’s father a frantic letter that prompts Senor Taboada to send his daughter on an investigation. Is Catalina okay? What was the reason behind the letter?

This book was incredibly frustrating to read but in the right way. I found myself putting it down for a day or two to simmer the anger that was building up. The Doyles are an old English family who settles in Mexico with visions of wealth and prosperity from a local metal mine. However, they carry ideologies of superior-inferior races and the patriarch, Howard Doyle, is a believer in eugenics. My frustration stemmed from the lack of action against the colonizers in this book.

The author is a gifted storyteller. She was successful in creating a gothic and scary story with hints of Mexican history. Moreno-Garcia made me want to jump into the book myself and handle the Doyles.

It’s hard to rate this book. The beginning and end were great, but the middle was where my frustration grew. I despise the stifling of women’s voices. I’m loud, and you will hear what I need to say. I wanted Catalina and Noemi to do just that.

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