The Hacienda Review
While not the Mexican Gothic style horror I was hoping for, I still found this to be an enjoyable haunting read.
In the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father is 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 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 its 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 help 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 fight off the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda and protect the woman for whom he feels a powerful, forbidden attraction. But even he might not be enough to battle the darkness.
Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom.
This was voted as my June #EnchantedReadsBookClub pick!
As soon as I saw this as an option for BOTM, I knew I needed to read it. The cover and synopsis gave me strong vibes of Mexican Gothic, which I read a while back and simply loved despite the fact that of how dark it was. You can find my review of Mexican Gothic here.
I will say, this one doesn’t hold a candle to Mexican Gothic. Mexican Gothic was dark disturbing and had me cringing. The Hacienda was nowhere near that same level of creepy. However, I still enjoyed reading it to an extent.
We follow Beatriz who is recently married. Beatriz is excited about her new home, one that she can call and make her own. However, after arriving, it’s not quite what she had imagined. Her help and even her husband’s sister refuse to enter at night. She feels like she’s being followed no matter where she goes. There’s something wrong with the hacienda.
While this didn’t quite give me the Mexican Gothic vibes I was hoping for, it did give me vibes of other paranormal books I’ve read and enjoyed. Mostly the style of horror author, Darcy Coates, particularly the types of haunts we get to see.
...it did give me vibes of other paranormal books I’ve read and enjoyd.
And speaking of haunts, another disappointment for me, in the lack thereof. Especially as we’re told Beatriz sees more than what's being shared. We get told in passing for a lot of it, Beatriz describing the night she had spent alone in the house rather than us reading it as it’s happening to her. I would have much rather seen more of these haunts while they were happening than be explained what had happened. It was just another aspect I found unimpressive in this one. I would have loved to see more of the details around these hauntings.
But despite these lower-level hauntings and horrors I had hoped to see, I did enjoy the overall plot of the story. We get to see the perspectives of Beatriz and the priest, Andrés, whom she befriends in hopes of cleansing the hacienda of the darkness surrounding it. I found Andrés’ character was especially a unique twist to the story. It added an element that I wasn’t expecting to this haunted house. The premise of how the house became haunted and how Beatriz and Andres work towards removing the darkness was simply enchanting to follow.
I found Andrés’ character was especially a unique twist to the story.
Overall, while I did enjoy this one, I had expected a much darker more sinister story like we got with Mexican Gothic. This was definitely a lower-scale horror story. But I found the plot enchanting!
I think this would make a great entry into horror, or enjoy horror but scare easy! This was an enjoyable gothic fiction story!