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Summary

The acclaimed author of Gods of Jade and Shadow returns with a mesmerising feminist re-imagining of Gothic fantasy, in which a young socialite discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

When glamorous socialite Noemí Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it's clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but her claims that her husband is poisoning her and her visions of restless ghosts seem remarkable, even for her. 

Noemí's chic gowns and perfect lipstick are more suited to cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing, but she immediately heads to High Place, a remote mansion in the Mexican countryside, determined to discover what is so affecting her cousin. 

Tough and smart, she possesses 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 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, 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, mesmerised by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to leave this enigmatic house behind.... 

©2020 Silvia Moreno-Garcia (P)2020 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Mexican Gothic

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  • Fi
  • 12-11-20

Did not enjoy narrator

This is likely a book I will enjoy reading but I am finding the narration style wooden, almost computer like and very off-putting it is detracting from the story so I have given up on this one.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

properly creepy

properly creepy and atmospheric. content warnings for coercion and sexual assault and a whole lot to do with rot and mould and fungi and abusive families. but this is fantastically well written and well worth the hype

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable gothic treat

I think this book has been wrongly critiqued for being slow paced etc. This may be because people pick up this book expecting it to be a horror/mystery or a horror/thriller. Gothic horror tends to be more to do with romance/passion/desire and the supernatural and hence it is usually always slow burn as it takes time to establish character relationships/feelings and atmosphere of isolation. If you enjoyed Dracula, Wuthering Heights, Wakenhyrst- you will probably also enjoy this and you will understand where this book is coming from.

Also, people have also said the performance was stiff/robotic and I can't say I agree with that. I think the somber mellow tone complimented the text well enough - it's really not that bad, so don't let that put you off!

That out the way- my thoughts on this book....I enjoyed the characters, particularly the lead, and I loved how the traditional roles in gothic literature were turned on it's head...I also loved the centrality of the fungus and the way this was used in the plot (if you've read Merlin Sheldrake's Entangled Life, you won't think this is so far fetched!) I also really appreciated the message about colonialism- It was refreshing to have an ethnic character portrayed as high society - that does not happen very often! I got into the characters, the prose is vivid without being overly complex, and some of the cerebral imagery is certainly unique and disturbing. I certainly felt a sense of hopelessness and isolation in the final scenes and was really wondering how this was going to end...

With that being said, I do think, despite a great concept and interesting characters, the author could have gone bigger. It's actually quite a simplistic story and feels like it could have been an epic- but there wasn't enough there for us to chew at! I loved the side characters and I wished they had played a bigger, and more unique role in the plot. The characters in town were almost given nothing to do... The central love interest was also, hate to say it, a bit flat- Having a strong female lead doesn't mean make the male love interest boring!!.... I wanted him to be more Frankenstein monster figure- torn between passion and loyalty, if you know what I mean- but he just comes off as depressed to be honest.

While it's not a classic for years to come, it certainly was an enjoyable read and a nice bit of escapism with some truly disturbing moments- would definitely make a great film (perhaps Guillermo del Torro directing???) So much potential to take this to new places... So on that basis overall 4/5

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Slow Beginning and Monotonous Narrator

The first 65% of this book weren't very engaging. I could't care for the characters and be immersed in the story. I listened to the audiobook and the way it was narrated made it all feel very lack-luster. The narrator didn't interpret the scenes accordingly, making the intense parts just... mild.

The last 35%, though, were crazy and super disturbing. I could't stop once I got to that point, even when it made me grimace and recoil.

If I could go back I'd read it physically and enjoy this story to its full effect.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not bad, but not good eather

First if all the narration was monotonous, slightly less during the dialogue. I couldn't feel the horror, although the story held potential.

2 people found this helpful

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I couldn't get past chapter two

The English accents are so awful i had to return the book. I wish I'd been able to go on as i liked the writing. Ill buy a print copy instead.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Why hire an actress who can’t do British accents?

This was a good book but I was utterly distracted by the fact that the actor reading this book can’t do a British accent— and most of the main characters (like 4/6) are British. The accent is totally all over the place and I really couldn’t take what the characters were saying seriously! You should definitely do a re-record on this book.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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SOOOO good

This was 10+ hours WELL SPENT!!!
Such an engrossing story with an authentic backdrop👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 Couldnt stop listening and ended up finishing it in one day!! Need i say more!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I'm in awe.

I came with no expectations of whatsoever as I had never read anything by Moreno-Garcia and had heard mixed reviews (although more leaning towards positive), I was genuinely curious as to what this book holds within its pages, to my surprise and delight, this book pulled me into a dark, eerie world with a unique ambiance that is almost tangible.
I consumed it via audio-book, and while listening, I felt deeply engrossed and compelled towards the story. It's beautifully crafted and definitely makes me want to check the author's previous books right away!
One thing that I would like to point out is that the narrator's "English" accent sounded more German but that's me being picky.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

slow to gather place

Story was ok, not really horror, but mystery. I listened on 1.35 speed which helped.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mafalda Melo
  • 15-02-21

Monotonous

Monotonous reader
I could never engage on the story as the voice was so monotonous that i couldn’t get any excitement neither understood well the development of the plot. That’s sad and disappointing because the summary of the story was interesting. I have exchanged the book after 9 chapters.