“Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia begins as a dreamy gothic mystery but quickly unfolds into a visceral, almost hallucinogenic nightmare. Noemí Taboada is enjoying life as a young socialite in 1950s Mexico City when she receives a bizarre letter from her newlywed cousin, Catalina Doyle. Catalina insists that her husband, Virgil, is poisoning her, and Noemí travels to their estate of High Place to investigate.
Symbols of rot are everywhere in Moreno-Garcia’s writing; mold and mushrooms seem to grow on every surface, and Noemí feels like the estate is decaying under her feet. Worse yet, Catalina’s madness seems to be contagious, and even as Noemí tries to convince herself that her cousin is merely ill, she begins to experience vivid nightmares. The Doyle family’s strange rituals and total isolation from their community similarly unnerve Noemí, preventing her from ever feeling safe.