The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches…
During the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father was executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security that his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.
But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.
When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark the doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano?
Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will save her.
Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to battle the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda.
Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom.
Reasons to read it: If you love the haunting atmosphere of a good gothic and are intrigued by an after war Mexican setting. For readers of the aforementioned Mexican Gothic and Rebecca, there will a few familiar aspects, but the addition of the witchcraft practicing Catholic priest provides a totally new component. And, the way Cañas uses Gothic tropes is both familiar and refreshing.