When Neomi Taboada’s father asks her to go check on her recently married cousin, Catalina, she really doesn’t want to. Why her? She’s got so much going on in the city.
Catalina currently resides at a remote manor home, known as High Place, with her husband, Virgil’s, family.
As posh as that sounds, according to Catalina’s desperate letters, the home is a desolate wasteland where she is currently very unwell, or else is in incredible danger.
Neomi’s father urges her to go and check on Catalina’s health and living conditions. When urging doesn’t work, he bribes her.
Neomi wants nothing more than to attend University, so that’s exactly the carrot he dangles in front of her.
Before you know it, Neomi is packing her bag and heading to High Place.
Once there, Neomi immediately feels at odds with Virgil’s stuffy, overly proper family. She is a modern, society-girl, who is used to having her own way, or at least being able to have a conversation over dinner.
In addition to the regimented, claustrophobic feel of the house itself, Neomi begins feeling spooked out by her surroundings and dreaming frightening things. Something is definitely going on here.
Her interactions with Virgil and his family get more disturbing as the days go by, until Neomi doesn’t fear just for Catalina’s well-being, but also her own.
Y’all, I was highly anticipating this novel. I have really enjoyed previous works from Moreno-Garcia and the gothic vibes of this are totally my jam.
While there is no denying that Moreno-Garcia’s writing is lush and captivating, something about the pace of this was off for me.
The premise is super intriguing, the atmosphere was top notch, but for me, the characters were not as well developed as I would of liked. I feel like I should have been attached to Neomi, but I just wasn’t.
The horror elements were interesting. I found the ideas behind that aspect intriguing for sure.
There were also scenes that legit grossed me out. I may even have gagged once or twice. I am telling you, Uncle Howard. The descriptions. I had to take a shower after.
Overall, this is a good book, bordering on really good for me. I think if this pace wasn’t so variant from lull to extreme intensity, I could have enjoyed it more.
I hope that Moreno-Garcia continues in this lane though. This gothic horror is fantastic for her writing style. I’m on board for anything else she writes, believe that.