What is up my dudes! I hope you are having a lovely day.
Whew, this week was emotional for me. On top of completing my manuscript for National Novel Writing Month this week and testing Negative for COVID-19, I crossed this book off of my want to read list of November.
This book…wow you guys. I burned through this book within a few days. Yes, it was one of those books that you get hours lost wandering through the pages wondering what’s behind every door you pass. I do want to warn you guys, there are spoilers ahead! These are my thoughts after I have finished reading the book. I also would like to take this chance to warn you that there’s sexual assault and rape in this book, and some explicit content that may be triggering to some readers.
“Mexican Gothic ” is the second book by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I believe this book came out June of this year. I had received it as a part of my Book of the Month subscription box, but didbn’t get a chance to read it until now. Going into this book, I didn’t know much about it. My first impression from the front cover was that some sort of horrific event was going to happen. The woman on the front cover is in a burgundy dress with a bouquet of roses in hand and a glowing green backdrop is behind her. The burgundy dress and the bouquet of flowers had me infer that some sort of wedding was to take place. The contrast the green background surrounding the woman in red had me relating it to some sort of toxic relationship or toxicity when it comes to the woman.
Now, let me get into what I liked and disliked about this book, starting from the top.
CHARACTERIZATION & THEMES
Two things that I enjoy immensely of this book is the characters and the themes the author has going on in her book.
Usually novels in which the author feels the need to include a description of what our main characters are wearing almost each and every time we see them are not the novels you want to be reading. This is not the case in this book. Naomi will know what she’s wearing every day when she gets up because she wants you to notice. She notices every character by what they are wearing because she is Naomi Taboada.
Every character has a purpose, and every character is motivated by different things. Even though Catalina isn’t a character that is seen through most of the story I still know what purpose she has to the plot.
We need to also talk about Howard.
Howard is the epitome of social darwinism and what happens when you keep on forcing marriages on your neices and other relatives multiple times and expecting that they won’t grow to hate you as you continue to shove your indoctrination down their throats. That is not how science works, Howard; it just makes talking at the dinner table very awkward.
However, Howard still plays a role to the plot. There are different themes to cover in this book, and one most importantly is colonization. Moreno-Garcia uses all of the reader’s senses to delve deeper in using metaphors to represent colonization; from the musky smell of sports mushrooms growing on mildew-laden portraits and buzzing of bees the reader is surrounded by a colony at all times.
I would go into the deeper themes and topics covered throughout this book, but I don’t want to be writing this blog entry too much like a book report. But this book covered a lot of current topics in regards to women’s rights and racism. There is also a lot to be said on how “Mexican Gothic” could be compared to “Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillman.
The setting is of High Place and its grounds for the majority of the story. Everything the author talks about she brings to life. She makes the pathway to High Place foreboding, and the mansion has me trying to guess what’s going to happen next without getting the twist right in the end.
The romance between Francis and Naomi is on the cutting edge of acceptable to me in the way of character motivation. Naomi at first likes both Virgil and Francis for very separate reasons at one point. This, and her mentioning her other gentlemen suitors back at home tells me she likes attention moreso than genuine feelings towards any of these men. I expected she would have left sooner if it wasn’t for her wanting to protect Francis so I do find it more believable that this relationship was meant to tie her to High Place for a longer period of time.
This book is definitely worth a read as long as you have enough time to finish it within a few days. It is just the right amount of dark and the underlying romance wasn’t distracting to me whatsoever.
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