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Monarch Book Club

Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Next Meeting: November 12, 2020, 7-8:30 PM via Zoom. Join us for discussion, prizes, and fun! REGISTER HERE!

Discussion Prompts


  • How did you feel about the historical period and setting the book takes place in?
  • How did the book evoke terror? What made it so powerful?
  • What was the creepiest moment of Mexican Gothic for you?
    I am haunted by that poor lady at the very end. You know the one.
  • Race and colonialism were significant players in the novel, both indirectly and
    more literally later on. All the residents at High House 
    are white and from England, 
    while Catalina and Noemí are mixed.
    • How does the author tie race into the fantasy elements?
    • How does race affect the way the story is understood?
    • How are indigenous people and their cultures considered?
  • Gender also played a large role. Consider the female characters Noemí,
    Catalina, Florence, Ruth, and Marta Duval, among others.
    • How does the book benefit from Noemí's perspective?
    • How are the women used in the book?
    • What does the book say about the patriarchy?
  • Gothic literature relies on emotion, in particular "the sublime,"
    an indescribable feeling that "takes us beyond ourselves" (via Wikipedia).
    • If you've read gothic literature, how does "Mexican Gothic" compare?
    • What elements of the traditional gothic story are present, and which
      are changed?
    • Is "Mexican Gothic" a gothic novel?
  • ​​​​​​​Would you read a sequel to this story? Would you prefer it feature Noemi and Francis, or would you prefer a story in the same world with new characters?

About the Monarch Book Club

The Monarch Book Club began in the Fall of 2019 to provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to connect with the ODU Libraries and with each other through engaging conversations about readings. Our purpose is to provide structure for leisure reading and meaningful discussion of a diverse set of literature to our undergraduate students. The book club is student-driven as much as possible. We encourage students to vote on book selections, to lead group discussions, and to participate in the planning process.

We hope that participants in Monarch Book Club will benefit from interaction with peers who also enjoy reading, lively discussion of a wide range of topics, and by connecting with the University Libraries and the broader campus community.


  • Any undergraduate student at ODU can participate
  • The first ten students to register receive a free copy of the book (funding pending), giving priority to students who participated in the most recent book club. If you do not receive a free book, we encourage you to try Interlibrary Loan (free), or searching for a used copy at your favorite book store or online vendor. Your public library may also be a good option!
  • Participants should read the book prior to the meeting.
  • We will ask participants for ideas for discussion questions and send discussion questions to participants a week before the meeting.
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