Mexican Gothic has a few elements to it, and I am not sure how to describe it, but I am going to describe it as a feminist, gothic supernatural, horror mystery. It has suspense to it, a mystery here with an isolated mansion hiding some evil secrets and has some real-life themes of sexism to it.
I was a little worried about the direction I thought this one was going, and I felt here we go with a husband trying to convince everyone his wife is mad. Well, hot diggity dang was I ever pleasantly surprised, shocked and delightfully horrified with the direction this one took.
Noémi’s cousin Catalina writes a strange letter begging for help and Noemí is to sent to see what is happening in the isolated mansion in Mexico. Her cousin lives with her husband and his very creepy, disturbing and unusual family. She, at first seems like not the right person and an unlikely rescuer, but we soon see there is more to Noemí. This strange family has some rules and tries to control Noemí, but she is determined to find answers about her cousin. Even though the setting is set in the 1950s Noemi has a modern side to her and that adds some tension and excitement to the gothic side to the story.
I loved the gothic, interesting setting here with High Place, and it’s not just a setting it an enthralling character with dynamics between it and the characters. I felt like I connected to it more than the characters, and I didn’t want to because this is one creepy, disturbing character that sent shivers up my back. High Place horrified me and I wanted to read with one eye on my kobo and the other on my surrounding.
Beyond the surface, there are some parallels between the gothic form and the real-life forms of power in a few different ways. There are real-life themes of sexism, racism, classism and silencing and control over women. The strength is the story is in the powerful women who use their strength to survive.
Obsession is explored here as well but not how you might think it is here with the dynamic between the characters. Things are not what it seems here with that and I sure there was some clues along the way that I totally missed till that shocking reveal left felt like a lightbulb went off in my head.
I think Mexican Gothic is a fine example of how to blend genres to create an exciting unique new way of exploring some real-life themes. I highly recommend it!