Updated: Oct 14, 2022
Lately, I've been seeking out stories that will transport me to other times and places. Naturally, most books do that, but I've been hungry for pages that offer glimpses into cultures outside my own.
I was excited to find one such book in Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Mexican Gothic. The cover spoke to me like an eager whisper, resting face-forward on a shelf at the front of the bookstore. Look at me, it seemed to say. The summary and the reviews inside perplexed me, leading me to believe that the story would be darker than a typical Victorian-era drama, but when I met Miss Noemi Taboada, her dark series of events was not at all what I expected.
Noemi is undecided about many things--men, entertainment, education. However, her dedication to her family is made clear from the beginning; and, when a cousin sends a troubling letter, Noemi finds herself racing to investigate. After all, her cousin's welfare is important, but the family cannot afford a scandal in the midst of Mexico City's upper class scrutiny.
In a tale of greed, temptation, and secrecy, Noemi must grow to take advantage of her limited agency in a society where the actions and opinions of women are valued less. She must seek answers in the midst of secrets that do not wish to be uncovered; she must rescue her family. I loved the dark twists of these pages, and consumed this book rapidly. As I approached the ending, I found myself questioning reality, questioning whether the scenes I read truly added up, or whether the dark forces were concealing the truth of the plot.
Overall, I feel that Silvia Moreno-Garcia spun a delicious tale of forbidden secrets. Her prose pulled me in like a spider until I had no idea I was as much a victim of the story as an average fly. I'm awarding this book 4 out of 5 stars, and sharing it with recommendation in high regard!
I am thankful for this prose, and happy to have had the opportunity to read about Noemi's adventures.