Mushrooms. Pustules. Capitalist critiques? What's not to like?
Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Mexican Gothic is slow-burn that begins like warm sun on your face in the summer and ends in a blazing inferno. I discovered this novel the same way many others this year have, through the truly crazy levels of online buzz it has generated since its release. Typically, I am turned off by period fiction, but I knew enough about this story a priori to know that there would be a fantastic horror payoff if I could hang in there through the early chapters.
Though the book is set some time in the 50's, the Doyle family is the perfect encapsulation of the current state of capitalism, best personified by the the decaying, racist white patriarch Howard Doyle who is desperate to reignite his failed silver mine in rural Mexico. He exploits the local population for their labor, and without giving too much away, the women in his family for theirs. Obviously, every reader will come into this book with a particular world-view, but if Moreno-Garcia did not intend to write a novel about the horrors of wealthy white capitalists whose multi-generational accumulation of wealth drives them insane, then consider me surprised.