Review: The Haunting of Alejandra by V. Castro

The Haunting of AlejandraThe Haunting of Alejandra by V. Castro
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Haunting of Alejandra is a slow burn. One which, I’ll be honest, initially, I wasn’t sure was going to be for me.

I am happy to say that this slow-burner is well-worth the wait. It ended up really grabbing me. It is such a powerful story; so much more than a pretty cover.

In this story we follow, Alejandra, wife, mother and homemaker. When we meet her, Alejandra is struggling. She feels trapped, like she has no control over her life. She feels judged by her husband, used by her children and overlooked by the rest of the world.

Alejandra has no close family for support either. She was adopted when she was just a baby, by a super-religious family, she has since broken ties with.

She has found and contacted her birth mother though and was starting to build a relationship with her. Unfortunately, due to her husband’s work, they had to move and now her bio-mom lives far away.

Alejandra is having visions. She is depressed, in a black hole she sees no way out of. It’s difficult to read at times. I could definitely see her side, but man, was it bleak.

This is a story of generational trauma as well, so even though Alejandra doesn’t know a lot about her ancestors, or their lives, we get to follow some of them through different historical perspectives.

I did enjoy this. Some of these perspectives were more interesting than others, but where they really succeeded was in shining a light on the similarities of these women’s lives.

No matter how far they were separated in time, they all struggled with the same issues. The largest being, lack of choice and a battle for personal autonomy.

The Horror elements in this stem from Alejandra’s haunting by a spirit appearing as La Llorona, the Mexican Folk Demon, seemingly attached to Alejandra’s family.

This is the first novel I have read by V. Castro and I was impressed with the level of Horror imagery brought to the page. Toe-curling in some sections, visceral and biting, it definitely made me cringe.

Additionally, I loved how tied the haunting was to Alejandra’s culture. As mentioned above, she didn’t know a ton about her heritage initially, but believe it or not, I felt like what happened to her inspired her to learn more; to be more in touch with that part of herself.

Overall, I am so glad that I stuck with this one. It was a little tough to get through at first, but Castro made it worth it. There was a plan behind it all and it paid off big time. This will stick in my mind for a long time.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Del Rey, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am looking forward to reading more from this author!

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