Book Reviews – Mexican Gothic and Anxious People

Bookish Discussion:

Have you read a book that scared you more psychologically than paranormally?

Have you read a book that was actually felt like going to therapy?

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia : Thoughts/Review

This book was a part of the Spooky read October month, but I managed to finish it only in the first week of Nov.

The story definitely has all the spooks – the gothic setting of the manor at High Place, eerie characters with the creepy Howard Doyle, the handsome and unsettling Virgil Doyle, the timid Francis Doyle and the stern and uptight Frances Doyle. It definitely isnt an easy task for our protagonist Noemi to figure out what is haunting her sister and how to solve it.

There are a lot of themes that I’m afraid of as a person that the author uses to scare her readers with – both psychological such as claustrophobia and insanity as well as paranormal such as ghosts.

I listened to the audio book for this and I think my only problem was the pacing of the plot. I found it a little slow for my liking. But maybe that’s how gothic horror novels are supposed to be?

It felt very similar to the Turn of the screw on which the Netflix Haunting of Bly Manor is based. I read the audiobook version of the book so maybe that’s what made it slower?

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

We cant change the world, and a lot of the time we cant even change the people. No more than one bit at a time. So we do what we can to help whenever we get the chance. We save those we can. We do our best. Then we try to find a way to convince ourselves that that will just have to…be enough. So we can live with our failures without drowning.

Jack’s Mum (aka Fredrik Backman) from Anxious People

This was my first read by Fredrik Backman, and honestly speaking? I think I’m in love with the author’s brain, and the way he thinks. I felt like I got a much needed therapy for free. Well, the book did cost me, but lets call it extremely budget friendly therapy šŸ™‚

I couldn’t exactly figure out what the story was about. Maybe it was about a bank robbery? Or a hostage drama? Or about love and life and death? About friendship and loneliness? Or maybe like the author says, the story is just about a bunch of idiots? Whatever it was, when I finished reading the last page of the book, I realised, I didn’t want this story to end. I wanted to keep reading about Anna Lena and Roger, about Jack and Jim, about Julie and Ro, about Nadia, Zara and Lennart, about the bank robber and the monkey and the frog. I wanted to live in that apartment with them. Because it felt like they were friends. Like they would understand my anxiety about nothing and say just the right things šŸ™‚

The book helped me understand my mother a bit better. It helped me deal with my husband a bit better. It helped me feel slightly less guilty about not being the perfect parent. It helped me ‘feel’ something for strangers after ages. It helped me smile a bit more. It told me that in a world full of bleakness, even a small act of kindness can go a long way. You can never know how something inconsequential you’ve done one day, can change someone’s life.

I loved the translation and the simple, light hearted and heart warming narration in the book. If this is the way Fredrik Backman writes all his books, I can’t wait to dive into all of them šŸ™‚

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