I finally received my copy of Mexican Gothic (*excited goth boy noises*)! This is my third Moreno-Garcia book and I’m already SO into it.
So, thoughts on the first chapter! Noemí Tabaoda is a high society debutante who goes through lovers at her own whims and is immediately set up as just a touch unreliable. The first we see of her is leaving a costume party early with a date who she has ended up setting up for a fool – he wore a horse costume, only for her to show up in a completely different costume. (Poor guy.) As it turns out, she’s been summoned home by her father, who disapproves of her current date, and she thinks that’s the main issue at hand.
Instead, her father talks to her quietly and with concern about her cousin Catalina. This is where the narrative immediately impresses me; Catalina has written to him, obviously unwell, and instead of disregarding her completely, Noemi’s father shows real concern, both over the moral quality of her husband and for Catalina herself. Even though it’s an asylum he’s considering, the compassion immediately shown for somebody who – from his perspective – is suffering a mental breakdown, and the fact that he doesn’t default to trusting her husband over her, is really, really refreshing.
I’m also already in love with Noemi; her father calls her flighty but stubborn about all the wrong things, and while she’s not sure about going to Catalina’s home, she’s talked into it by a promise from her father that he’ll look into letting her attend a proper university. She’s smart, and it’s hidden under a certain air of carelessness, but we immediately know there’s more to her.
I’m very, very excited to see where the book goes from here – genre stipulations already clue me in that Catalina is not exaggerating about being poisoned or seeing ghosts, but it’s not immediately obvious where the story will go from there. Gothic horror novels often share set-ups, but their plots and conclusions are harder to predict.