Perhaps one of the reasons that I enjoyed this book so much is that the idea of a Reverie speaks to me on a fundamental level. Portal literature, or literature where the main character starts in “the real world” and then falls down a hole (Alice in Wonderland), goes though a mirror (Through the Looking Glass), crosses a wall (Stardust), or goes through a wardrobe (Narnia) to find themselves in a magical land, is literature that I always seem to fall into. The idea that crossing an invisible magical barrier is all it takes to go on an adventure in a magical world was something that I spent hours daydreaming about as a child.
In this magical world, I would be something spectacular. A witch or a fairy. Perhaps a knight on quest. The options where literally endless in my mind. When you add this to the concept that reveries are a subconscious dreamscape that come alive in the real world, is it really a wonder that I quickly became enthralled with this book?
Kane Montgomery is an interesting main character because he is both who he was before his memories were wiped and who he is trying to be based upon the information that he learns about himself. Though I don’t typically enjoy plots that are driven by “amnesia”, the loss of memory in Kane’s case leads to an accepting of who he is and a desire to be better. It was his “humbling moment” if you will, the reason that he makes the choices he does when the pieces are finally put together.
One of the other things that’s interesting about this book is the mixed, and I mean truly mixed reviews on it. People either love it (me for example) or they struggle to get through it. Those who love it find themselves being swept away into the idea that you deepest fantasies can come alive just long enough for you to live them. They find themselves rooting for the Others to save the day because that means dreams can live on. Those who don’t like the book seem to be hung up on the idea of a Reverie to begin with, they didn’t like Kane as a character or they had very different expectations going in. Where do you fall on the spectrum and why?
I was patiently waiting for the library to notify me that my copy of Mexican Gothic is available, when one of my friends enthusiastically said that they had a historical fiction for me to read. When she dropped by to pass it into my hands I couldn’t help but squeal as the words Mexican Gothic poked out from her bag. This book has gotten so much hype about being a good historical horror story, let’s check it out together for May’s book club!
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with 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 even 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 Noemí, 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, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.