First off, I’m OBSESSED with this book cover!! 😍😍 The vivid colors and its dense, saturated pallet is in direct contract to the atmosphere in the novel: dark, brooding, gloomy, and utterly spooky.
This book is literally everything you could possibly want in a gothic novel. The story takes place in 1950’s Mexico. A wealthy socialite named Noemí is summoned to her cousin’s new home, where she is suffering from a mysterious illness. Catalina claims that her new husband is poisoning her and that the estate in which she now lives is haunted - with voices whispering to her behind the walls. Noemí is tasked with convincing Catalina’s husband to let her come home and receive psychiatric care, something unavailable in the tiny community where she currently lives.
Immediately, it becomes apparent that Noemí is not wholly welcome, and the entire extended family living at the estate are reluctant to host a stranger. The patriarch is dying, something that consumes all of their time and energy. They don’t want to host an outsider, especially one that has the intention of taking Catalina away from her new family.
Noemí is struck by the damp and decay within the walls of the once grand home. It now smells of rot and seems to be falling apart around itself. Money from a once profitable mine has dried up and repairs are not possible. This, topped with unbelievably strict household rules make staying there a challenge for the spoiled heiress.
Now enters the strange noises, visions (or is it just someone lurking in the fog???), the mysterious illness that seems to invade Catalina without mercy and the dreams that haunt Noemí each night, and you have the recipe for a fantastic story!! Once she arrived at the house, I was hooked!!
And the fog... the incessant fog and mold that permeates the story and suffocates the breath from the reader! The ending is exciting and terrifying, the characters are vivid and real & the setting is perfectly horrifying.
The author has such a lyrical and poetic way with words that I highlighted several passages for their sheer beauty, even when the story is bleak. The story itself is creative and new! I was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t your typical ghost story trope.
This book will definitely be one that I will re-visit in the future!!