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The Hacienda

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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... In the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father is executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores 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... 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.


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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... In the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father is executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores 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... 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.

30 review for The Hacienda

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Rebecca meets Mexican Gothic: a great combination of gothic house theme, historical fiction takes place after Mexican War of Independence, an impossible love story, powerful characters including terrifying horror house itself. There are so many qualities in this book prevent you put it down, deserving your entire focus and energy! Definitely one of the most brilliant, interesting, capturing reads I’ve recently had! Beatriz: daughter of disgraced general, loses everything including father’s proper Rebecca meets Mexican Gothic: a great combination of gothic house theme, historical fiction takes place after Mexican War of Independence, an impossible love story, powerful characters including terrifying horror house itself. There are so many qualities in this book prevent you put it down, deserving your entire focus and energy! Definitely one of the most brilliant, interesting, capturing reads I’ve recently had! Beatriz: daughter of disgraced general, loses everything including father’s property, family’s reputation, rejecting to be reliant on her uncle’s charity and sour aunty’s goodwill, accepting her only choice that may give a proper wealthy life for herself and her mother: she accepts to be second wife of Don Rodolfo despite the rumors about suspicious death of his first wife. Because marrying with Don Rodolfo means she will have her own hacienda: San Isidro even though she has to live with eccentric and hostile sister in law. But as soon as she moves to the hacienda, she realizes she’s trapped in a haunted place controlled by evil spirits. She has to take action before the house breaks her completely. Beatriz’s path crosses with our other POV belongs to priest Andres, who has truly mysterious past, coming to the hacienda to perform exorcism. But we shockingly realize this mysterious priest is not we thought who he was. I have to admit the haunted hacienda is the most interesting character of this book scared the living daylights out of me! Overall: well written, perfectly blended: historical fiction- horror- Latin culture-Daphne Du Maurier’s classic earned my scary, jaw dropping, eccentric, spine tingling, one of the best 2022 reads stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Simone James

    When I'm asked by readers what books to read if they like my books, this book is the answer. Beautifully written, powerful, a gothic ghost story that tackles huge themes and scares the socks off you at the same time. A strong heroine, a terrifying house, and a hot priest. You truly could not ask for more in your ghost story. Highly recommended! When I'm asked by readers what books to read if they like my books, this book is the answer. Beautifully written, powerful, a gothic ghost story that tackles huge themes and scares the socks off you at the same time. A strong heroine, a terrifying house, and a hot priest. You truly could not ask for more in your ghost story. Highly recommended!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    The Hacienda by Isabel Canas is a 2022 Berkley publication. If you enjoy a good atmospheric tale of Gothic Horror, then you’ve come to the right place! With a blurb like ‘Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca’ I was eagerly anticipating this one and I was not disappointed!! After her father is executed during the Mexican War of Independence, and she loses her home, Beatriz grabs onto a golden opportunity by marrying Don Rodolpho Solórzano, a widower whose previous wife died under mysterious circumstances The Hacienda by Isabel Canas is a 2022 Berkley publication. If you enjoy a good atmospheric tale of Gothic Horror, then you’ve come to the right place! With a blurb like ‘Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca’ I was eagerly anticipating this one and I was not disappointed!! After her father is executed during the Mexican War of Independence, and she loses her home, Beatriz grabs onto a golden opportunity by marrying Don Rodolpho Solórzano, a widower whose previous wife died under mysterious circumstances. Determined to have a better life, and the security her marriage promises, Beatriz is eager to move onto Don’s countryside estate and begin making it her own. She is not met with warmth by Don’s sister, the staff…. Or the House…. When Beatriz begins to experience some frightening events, she realizes she needs help. To that end, she enlists a young priest named Padre Andres, who becomes her only trustworthy supporter. Beatriz comes to believe that if she and Padre are not successful in ridding the house of its evil she will die in the house, just as Don Rodolpho’s first wife did… Wow! Paying homage to the Gothic Horror of old, while giving the genre a fresh spin, this story has everything you would want in a rip roaring fireside tale of horror, suspense, and forbidden love. I was riveted to the pages, gripped by the spine-tingling supernatural atmosphere, but was also drawn to the romance of the story, as well. Some religious imagery and conflict were a little uncomfortable as the author mingles secular tendencies with the church, but it was an interesting representation of an internal conflict in all of us. Overall, this is a superb representation of this genre. I’m duly impressed. I mainly read this book late at night and I must say that it gave me the shivers more than once and had me jumping at the slightest noise. If I have my information right, this is the first full length novel by this author, and she absolutely nailed it!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **4.5-stars rounded up** After her father is killed in the Mexican War of Independence, Beatriz and her mother are forced to move in with her mother's family who had previously disowned her. They're cruel and haughty about Beatriz and her mother's now tenuous situation within the community. It's not good. Therefore, when handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes to Beatriz, she jumps at his offer. This could be their opportunity to climb back up the social ladder. Beatriz would be the lady of Solórza **4.5-stars rounded up** After her father is killed in the Mexican War of Independence, Beatriz and her mother are forced to move in with her mother's family who had previously disowned her. They're cruel and haughty about Beatriz and her mother's now tenuous situation within the community. It's not good. Therefore, when handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes to Beatriz, she jumps at his offer. This could be their opportunity to climb back up the social ladder. Beatriz would be the lady of Solórzano's countryside estate and with that will come the security she's been craving. Many people marry for reasons other than love. It's the 1830's. How bad could it be anyway? Unfortunately, after arriving at Hacienda San Isidro, Beatriz finds that it isn't quite what she expected. Still she remains optimistic. If she pours love into the large estate hopefully she'll be able to breathe some new life into it and then move her mother in as well. Rodolfo swiftly returns to work in the capital, leaving Beatriz to fend for herself with just the staff and his abrasive sister, Juana, for company. Under these circumstances, it doesn't take long for Beatriz to realize that there's something really off about this hacienda. Beatriz begins hearing voices, having terribly vivid nightmares and constantly feels like she is being watched. She wouldn't consider herself a nervous person, but this goes beyond anxiety inducing. Beatriz fears the hacienda is haunted and she suspects that perhaps the first Dona Solórzano is to blame. How did she die exactly? No one seems willing or able to give her a straight answer on that. Pushed to her limits, Beatriz knows she needs to figure this out and rid the hacienda of what ails it before it's too late. With this goal in mind, she turns to a young local priest, Padre Andrés, for help. Together the two set out to exorcise the malevolent presence from the hacienda for good. Isabel Canas delivers heavy Gothic Horror vibes in this novel. The atmosphere is so strong. The descriptions of what Beatriz was experiencing were absolutely chilling. There were times I had difficulty reading it at night. OMG and is this her debut full length novel!? Canas knocked it out of the park with her first swing!? I'm seriously fangirling hard over here. Honestly, it has the exact vibe I was hoping for when I picked it up. I actually never read the full synopsis, so Padre Andrés and the role he played in the story took me completely by surprise. I loved that element and his character in particular. Also, the dynamic between Andrés and Beatriz was built out really well. I would consider this to be a slow burn, so I can see how some Readers may not vibe with that inital build. However, if you are willing to put in the time, it will pay off and it really doesn't take long before the spooky stuff begins. I would definitely recommend this to Horror fans who enjoy a historical setting, as well as to anyone who loves gothic-feeling fiction, or haunted house tales. Thank you so very much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I really enjoyed my time with this one and cannot wait to see what Canas serves up next!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alix Harrow

    for the last year i've been doing two things that are pretty new to me: reading romance, and watching horror. i've also been reading a ton of gothic fiction and trying to write a book about a spooky house rooted in local histories. so when i tell you this book is up my alley, i mean it is PRECISELY up my alley. it puts all those things together and--crucially--adds a very hot priest. i loved it. for the last year i've been doing two things that are pretty new to me: reading romance, and watching horror. i've also been reading a ton of gothic fiction and trying to write a book about a spooky house rooted in local histories. so when i tell you this book is up my alley, i mean it is PRECISELY up my alley. it puts all those things together and--crucially--adds a very hot priest. i loved it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    PamG

    Isabel Canas’ debut novel is a supernatural suspense story that can also be classified as horror. Largely set in a remote house in Mexico after the Mexican War of Independence from Spain, the author packs it with atmosphere, history, life, and memorable characters. Most of the book is set in 1823 with a few flashbacks. The execution of Beatriz’s father and the loss of their home force Beatriz and her mother to live with relatives that treat them badly. When Don Rodolfo Eligio Solorzano proposes, Isabel Canas’ debut novel is a supernatural suspense story that can also be classified as horror. Largely set in a remote house in Mexico after the Mexican War of Independence from Spain, the author packs it with atmosphere, history, life, and memorable characters. Most of the book is set in 1823 with a few flashbacks. The execution of Beatriz’s father and the loss of their home force Beatriz and her mother to live with relatives that treat them badly. When Don Rodolfo Eligio Solorzano proposes, Beatriz is willing to ignore the rumors about his first wife in order to have her own home again. However, the house is not the haven she expected. A poorly maintained house lacking furnishings and a housekeeper and sister-in-law that seem to hate her on site are only the beginning. Visions, voices, and red eyes looking at add to her nightmare. Something is wrong and she needs help. Turning to the witch turned priest Padre Andres, she hopes to find out what is wrong and fix it. Will she survive? Beatriz is generally a strong character intent on survival and a new life. The horrors she faces will test her and her resilience. Rodolfo appears to be solid, reliable, and confident. However, rumors still follow him. Padre Andres has two ways of life battling for supremacy within him. The secondary characters have varying degrees of depth that is applicable for their roles in this story line. The writing is fluid, flows well, and is very descriptive. A twisty and absorbing plot kept the pages turning. Building the tension and terror, the author expertly brings the young bride’s fears to life. Weaving love, survival, family, racism, socioeconomics, revenge, secrets, colonialism, religion, and folk beliefs into the story kept this reader on tenterhooks. Overall, this was a moving, engrossing, compelling, and memorable novel with some pivotal stressful and emotional times. I am looking forward to reading more from this author. Berkley Publishing Group and Isabel Canas provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for May 3, 2022. ------------------------------------ Review to be posted approximately April 26, 2022, per publisher guidelines.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    I loved this book so much I picked it for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club. A supernatural gothic tale that looks at love, class, race, Mexican history and folklore, religion, power...SO MUCH TO PICK APART while also being a quick read you won't want to put down. I read it in a night and it was worth the book hangover I had the next morning. I loved this book so much I picked it for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club. A supernatural gothic tale that looks at love, class, race, Mexican history and folklore, religion, power...SO MUCH TO PICK APART while also being a quick read you won't want to put down. I read it in a night and it was worth the book hangover I had the next morning.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie Colson

    ⭐️2.5 I don’t know y’all! I wasn’t in the mood. So part of me doesn’t want to rate this at all. But the other part says that I have opinions even still. I loved how present and intense the magic and haunting elements were. They were pussy-footing around. It was straight up spells and witchcraft. We love to see it. But it wasn’t my type of engaging. It’s a slower build. If you loved Mexican Gothic then this is the read for you. It’s more thrilling than that book but still on that slow gothic horror ⭐️2.5 I don’t know y’all! I wasn’t in the mood. So part of me doesn’t want to rate this at all. But the other part says that I have opinions even still. I loved how present and intense the magic and haunting elements were. They were pussy-footing around. It was straight up spells and witchcraft. We love to see it. But it wasn’t my type of engaging. It’s a slower build. If you loved Mexican Gothic then this is the read for you. It’s more thrilling than that book but still on that slow gothic horror vibe. Also the romance??? I was uncomfy. If it was a forbidden trope I woulda been down. But as it was I was just a little unsettled. The ending was such a disappointment for me. I understand that it is realistic and most likely what would happen in real life. But we’re talking ghosts and spells and hauntings and crazy family drama. I don’t want real life endings. I want ✨DRAMA✨ So I’d say this is a good book. But I’m not the target audience.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann

    Review originally published at Cemetery Dance: https://www.cemeterydance.com/extras/... .. Isabel Cañas’ striking debut, The Hacienda, is a historical, Gothic horror novel enticing readers with a compelling haunted house tale while making a grab for hearts with a love story nestled in its core. Beatriz is a fierce, wildly independent woman with ambition who sets her sights well above her lowly station. Beatriz and her mother were forced to move in with a family member after her father dies in Mexico Review originally published at Cemetery Dance: https://www.cemeterydance.com/extras/... .. Isabel Cañas’ striking debut, The Hacienda, is a historical, Gothic horror novel enticing readers with a compelling haunted house tale while making a grab for hearts with a love story nestled in its core. Beatriz is a fierce, wildly independent woman with ambition who sets her sights well above her lowly station. Beatriz and her mother were forced to move in with a family member after her father dies in Mexico’s War of Independence. One night, she meets a wealthy widower and immediately decides that he is her ticket out of their dire situation. They marry and she is whisked off to the estate of her dreams. The reality of her new life becomes uncertain as soon as she arrives at Hacienda San Isidro. This is where the big “Rebecca” vibes enter the room! The fantasies of the idyllic marriage to a wealthy, powerful man and living a life of luxury in his beautiful estate begin to dissipate. The author does an amazing job painting a vivid sense of place. She describes the landscape and the hacienda with intricate details so that the reader feels they are touring the grounds right alongside Beatriz as she sees her new home for the first time. Cañas leans into classic Gothic traditions by immersing the reader in the narrative; wrapping luscious prose in a cloak of dark, haunting atmosphere with that glorious sense of doom and gloom. It’s utterly mesmerizing to the point of never wanting to separate from its grip. Plan to spend long hours in this book. The unexpected aspects of this book are best left for readers to discover on their own but it’s important to mention that investment in the characters is at a premium, especially Padre Andrés. The Hacienda is an exciting debut because it masterfully selects the best parts of several horror sub-genres and works them together to create something altogether unique and hauntingly magical. This is a must read and Isabel Cañas is one to watch.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Meh. A very underwhelming combo of Rebecca and Mexican Gothic. The descriptions of day to day life on the hacienda and the oppression of the Mestizos were interesting, but all the major plot points were too predictable. The only unpredictable character was the villain who made crazy nonsensical decisions that left me with a ton of questions. Like who climbs to the roof of a multilevel house to set it on fire? What exactly was their exit strategy? This is a debut novel so I'll give it three stars, Meh. A very underwhelming combo of Rebecca and Mexican Gothic. The descriptions of day to day life on the hacienda and the oppression of the Mestizos were interesting, but all the major plot points were too predictable. The only unpredictable character was the villain who made crazy nonsensical decisions that left me with a ton of questions. Like who climbs to the roof of a multilevel house to set it on fire? What exactly was their exit strategy? This is a debut novel so I'll give it three stars, but this is not a book I would recommend for anyone looking for a new story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    4/4.5 stars! The description of this book says Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca. I can see the similarities, but I think The Hacienda is its on creepy beast stalking from the corners of the room. The creep factor in The Hacienda was great and the old gothic feel of the book worked for me. The main character, Beatriz was a tough and fantastic character to cheer for and she had a grittiness that I just loved. I felt she was a good match for the horror of that house, Hacienda San Isidro. The mystery of wha 4/4.5 stars! The description of this book says Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca. I can see the similarities, but I think The Hacienda is its on creepy beast stalking from the corners of the room. The creep factor in The Hacienda was great and the old gothic feel of the book worked for me. The main character, Beatriz was a tough and fantastic character to cheer for and she had a grittiness that I just loved. I felt she was a good match for the horror of that house, Hacienda San Isidro. The mystery of what happened to the first Doña Solórzano was good but it wasn't a plot twist for me. I had an idea who the killer was before I got to the halfway point of the book, but even though I knew who killed her, it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the book. I loved all the crazy moments when Beatriz and Andrés are trying to save her life but also save the soul of the property. The gothic, witchy and supernatural vibes in this are well done! I did like the ending of the book even though I can see how some readers might be a bit disappointed. I felt it was realistic and it would have likely turned out like that in real life. In fact, the more that I think about this book as I’m writing this review, the more I realize how entertaining it was and loved the magical spell that was cast over me!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    The Haunting of Hill House meets Rebecca in the debut novel from Isabel Cañas – The Hacienda was a wonderfully gothic horror, and genuinely historically interesting as well. It’s an incredibly impressive debut – taut and suspenseful, but with a real meatiness to the story that gives it depth. Set in a Mexico still firmly overshadowed by the War for Independence, The Hacienda introduces us to Beatriz, who lost her father in the aftermath and sets out to find a husband able to save herself and her The Haunting of Hill House meets Rebecca in the debut novel from Isabel Cañas – The Hacienda was a wonderfully gothic horror, and genuinely historically interesting as well. It’s an incredibly impressive debut – taut and suspenseful, but with a real meatiness to the story that gives it depth. Set in a Mexico still firmly overshadowed by the War for Independence, The Hacienda introduces us to Beatriz, who lost her father in the aftermath and sets out to find a husband able to save herself and her mother from an existence dependent on the meagre kindness of what family she has left. She meets Don Rodolfo Eligio Solórzano Ibarra at a ball, falls in love with the stories of his family’s hacienda and the freedom his status offers her, marries – and begins her own version of a classic Gothic Horror. Fans of the genre will be used to certain tropes, and Isabel Cañas does an excellent job of writing within it, but allowing herself the freedom to make it her own. There’s no swooning heroines to be found here – Beatriz is willing to meet society’s expectations up to a point, and this woman is a survivor to the core. Rather than submitting to a slow descent into madness, or peril, she acknowledges and refuses to accept the first stages of a home that seems determinedly out to get her. Laughter and whispers in the night? Cold patches of the home and visions of nightmare apparitions? Unacceptable! Beatriz takes action – and it’s so engaging to see a heroine with that kind of backbone. That doesn’t lessen the scares, you’ll be pleased to hear. Beatriz may be willing to face down the supernatural head on, but this is a hacienda with an axe to grind, and it’s just as ready for a fight as she is. Matters escalate, and quickly – and it’s not just the supernatural entities you have to watch out for, because more than one of the perfectly mundane humans have dark agendas of their own. If you love the Gothic Horror genre but are keen to see a heroine with more agency and a story with plenty of bite, The Hacienda just might be what you’ve been looking for. This review first appeared at mysteryandsuspense.com.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Miya (in a puddle of pain)

    Meh. Good creep factor, but I don't know. I was expecting more I guess. Meh. Good creep factor, but I don't know. I was expecting more I guess.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mandeep

    if mexican gothic had been good

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chantel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It is important to note that the majority of the themes explored in this book deal with sensitive subject matters. My review, therefore, touches on these topics as well. Many people might find the subject matters of the book as well as those detailed in my review overwhelming. I would suggest you steer clear of both if this is the case. Please note that from this point forward I will be writing about matters which contain reflections on rape, colourism, substance abuse, child endangerment, paren It is important to note that the majority of the themes explored in this book deal with sensitive subject matters. My review, therefore, touches on these topics as well. Many people might find the subject matters of the book as well as those detailed in my review overwhelming. I would suggest you steer clear of both if this is the case. Please note that from this point forward I will be writing about matters which contain reflections on rape, colourism, substance abuse, child endangerment, parental abuse, & others. Beatriz marries Rodolfo for his social status; she wants the money that was taken away from her after the politically motivated murder of her father; to regain her place amongst the social elite, though she would never state that these are innately the things that she wants. Rather, Beatriz boasts about accepting Rodolfo’s proposal so that both her & her mother can leave the home of her aunt, who housed them after the death of their father & exile from the community. Yet, all the while, Beatriz is ravenous to declare Hacienda San Isidro her home, her possession, her property, & hers alone. To which I am left wondering whom amongst the slew of self-serving characters am I meant to root for? Firstly, I acknowledge that many unseasoned, casual, readers will find many things to love in this book. Throughout my entire reading experience, I knew that I was not someone for whom this book would have been recommended because I have read too many books to meander behind the hand-holding, poor literary approach of the author towards a subject matter that could have blown me away. That is to say that the scene & time period in which Cañas wrote this story is one that is riddled with intrigue & mysticism, two things this story would have benefited from. However, following the lead of a main character such as Beatriz leads one down a road that sees them exiting the interest they held towards any of what was being written. The political situation in Mexico during the time period in which this story was set (1820-) is one that could have been presented with a bit more depth. There is certainly nothing innately wrong with leading the reader to further their knowledge by doing their own personal research but, this does stunt the flow of reading as one must pause to ensure that the political details that are being swept past, are well comprehended & to ensure that their relevancy to the story is accurate. Therefore, I think had Cañas introduced the story with a foreword about the scene that would be set, I feel we would be left with the profound feelings of unease & struggle that we are meant to feel emanating from the pages throughout the story. What reinforces the disconnect between the scenes presented to the reader & the plot at large resides solely in the ineptitudes of the characters. This is a story that has been done many times before & should you be in the market for a decent haunted house I encourage you to start at the source. In my experience, books that are sold as a retelling of a principle that has already been succeeded upon by another author, fall flat by their inabilities to build on their own merit & originality. What renders Beatriz’s story one that is unlike any other you’ve read before? Was it very difficult to gauge whom the murderer was after being introduced to Juana & her laughter regarding a mutilated rat? I think not. This is very unfortunate because the author paired beautifully intimate cultural aspects of lore & mysticism within the plot to add distinction to its storyline yet failed to render these serious aspects of the story. The dialogue that follows each character grew to be some of the most cringe-worthy I have read in a while. Asking me to believe that because Beatriz was the ‘daughter of a general’ would render her capable of any of the random things she decided to try & accomplish, is laughable. This is a character who proclaims she has a deep & respectful relationship with her mother yet never once has a conversation with her regarding her plan to marry a rich man to help them better their situation. Why is that? How am I to believe that this character is anything but idiotic when all she has done the entire story is be brain-dead bananas? Beatriz took it upon herself to seek out a wealthy man who had the means to grant her, her every wish. She wanted to not have to do the physical labour & menial jobs that her aunt was imposing upon both herself & her mother because they were social & political pariahs. I found it absurd that I was meant to feel fondness toward Beatriz. She might be a good person, deep in her soul, but her actions do not prove that to be true. She never speaks to her mother about her marriage until she is well-passed accepting Rodolfo’s proposal. She moves to San Isidro without consulting with her mother & plans to bring her mother to the new house, without ever asking if this is what she would want. Beatriz never makes any effort to befriend Juana whom one might rightfully wonder at; why is this woman working the fields of a property that is allegedly her family’s? Everything that Beatriz chooses to do is because she has set herself the goal to do it alone. Is it necessarily bad to want to better one’s life? No. Is it weird to exclude the only family you love in all your plans for social climbing & sleeping with ‘the enemy’? Yes. What I find to be the most noisome aspect of this story is the request for me to look past the banal mental abilities of the main character. Surely, these stories succeed as they do because the women are never in a position to ask questions & they never feel it appropriate to ponder anything. Yet, I cannot in my right mind believe that this is actually true. One can certainly be raised to not speak out of turn & one can most definitely not feel it their place to ask about a dead family member—respectable topics of conversation to be abided—yet, one most certainly wonders about the disjointed events transpiring around them. I understand that Beatriz could not outright ask Paloma what happened to Rodolfo’s first wife but, there needs to come a time when women are not being written as imbeciles simply because they were outwardly treated as such. It’s insulting to read an entire book wherein the main character is a floundering fish out of water because she refused to grasp any straw placed near her hand due to her infallible desire to oust anyone not aligned with her goal of possessing her own home. Is it so farfetched to think that the man who gawked at you because of your skin tone might also be a shallow, mean-intentioned person? Rodolfo proves to have no redeeming characteristics yet we are to look past all this because Beatriz cannot read the room. This is rendered an extremely weird decision because Beatriz wallows about the treatment she received from her aunt regarding her skin pigmentation. Again, here lies an insanely important topic to be properly introduced within the book & yet, it is employed simply to grant distinction between women. How was colourism altering Beatriz’s lived experiences? Her father was a very respected general--from whom she inherited her complexion--yet we read not about what prejudices befell a person who was darker than another. It is not enough to simply insert key phrases about becoming ‘darker with sun exposure’ for the reader to glean the insane mistreatment that people experience due to colourism. As well, what differentiates colourism in Mexico (in this time period) from what we see happening today? The primary reason for which I felt this book would find enjoyment in the hands of causal versus habitual readers is that the details presented in the dialogue border on redundant. Beatriz is constantly telling us that she is the daughter of a general & will therefore vanquish her demons. We circle this thought process endlessly & see her screaming down the staircase evermore. We read about an evil part of Andrés while never seeing this come to fruition & rather watch him fall in love with Beatriz because she never had the gumption to question what she didn’t understand. I think we should be more kind to one another but, to sit with someone who tells you they are a witch & not blink an eye does not lead me to believe you’re an accepting person, it leaves me to believe that you’ve no girth to your personality & haven’t the brains to think of anything to say. Posing a question isn’t a negative thing. It’s ok to ask what it means to be a witch—truly what does it mean in connection to the town & Mexico as a whole? What place is left for Andrés in the rational world of his peers? The town seems to adore him yet, he has to remain hidden due to the general political views of the country but, how many other people are witches too? How did he know that hearing voices was not something else entirely? So much of the intrigue we should have felt vanished when we are led towards the conclusion it appears we had already arrived at chapters before. For example, Beatriz sees that the corpse within the wall has a specific necklace, then she dreams about the demon apparition of the first wife, then we walk to the grave only to have Andrés confirm to us that her body isn't there....we already knew that? Why did we have to read about this thrice, if not more? Had the author presented knew information at that time this all would have been validated but again, we circle the same things over & over again. Granting the characters no depth to their beings prevented the story from blossoming into a horrific tale of a body crumpled into a wall; a serial rapist turning a blind eye to the murder of his victims; political outrage & violence; torture, torment & fear. Every single character in this book is a shadow of the people they should & could be. What rendered the relationship between Beatriz & Andrés so special save for the fact that neither of them cared a lick for looking further into the mental state of the other & were seemingly bonded by trauma? What happened to Juana as a child to make her so distant from the social requirements that would be imposed upon her? Why did Rodolfo not care about Beatriz’s father or his involvement in the war? I will applaud Cañas for some of the more gruesome supernatural aspects of the story. My favourite was the body in the hall. The visual descriptions given to the ghost corpse as it slowly raised an actively decomposing arm towards Beatriz, were superb & I wish there had been more of that. However, I realize that for certain readers this might not be what they were looking to read & therefore regain my stance that, this is not a book that is necessary for habitual readers of horror for, there is little that is horrific about this story. I read another review that stated something along the lines of; if all the supernatural occurrences were removed you would have a better story & I am inclined to agree. What did it add for us to read numerous scenes in which Andrés was attempting to summon the ‘dark’ parts of himself to exorcise the house? Save for the few cool descriptions of an angry ghost, there wasn’t much to pique my interest in this plot. I couldn’t care less about the haunting of a woman who loved her rapist husband's violent tendencies that coincided with her murderous desires. I couldn’t find it within me to feel propelled forward through pages at end of a blossoming ‘love’ between characters who were all talk & no show when it came to having a backbone. Why did Beatriz want Andrés to abandon everything he knows for her? She had nothing in the city but her mother. All the friends & acquaintances she grew to know & appreciate were in this town yet, she expected Andrés to simply walk away from the life he had been building to follow her in her quest for....what? I could not get behind Juana appearing at her leisure whilst Beatriz was rampaging through the house ripping wooden beams away. Rodolfo must have known that Juana killed his wife? He willingly did not go into a wing of the house, nor ever check why it was blocked off? He never sought to ask why he was not summoned when his wife died so that he could attempt to be present for her burial? I doubt it. All in all, this isn’t the worst book I’ve ever read & I find myself at a loss to want to continue writing this review because I know & recognize that this is a book that many people will love, for valid reasons. I am happy to know that it will find itself in the hands of its ideal reader. However, I find myself disappointed that so many opportunities were passed over within the plot to render this the tale of a truly mind-numbingly scary haunted house.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

    Isabel Cañas' debut gothic supernatural suspense novel, The Hacienda is a dark, suspense-driven tale that will cement this author in a growing in popularity genre. This book is being labeled Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca, but I would say its more of a mix between Rebecca and The Haunting of Hill House with a historical Mexico twist. The Hacienda takes place during Mexico's war for independence, and we are focused on main protagonist Beatriz and her recent marriage to Don Rodolfo Solórzano Isabel Cañas' debut gothic supernatural suspense novel, The Hacienda is a dark, suspense-driven tale that will cement this author in a growing in popularity genre. This book is being labeled Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca, but I would say its more of a mix between Rebecca and The Haunting of Hill House with a historical Mexico twist. The Hacienda takes place during Mexico's war for independence, and we are focused on main protagonist Beatriz and her recent marriage to Don Rodolfo Solórzano. After Beatriz moves into Rodolfo's estate, Hacienda San Isidro, whispers begin to ooze through the walls. What happened to Rodolfo's prior wife and what lies behind the history of Hacienda San Isidro? Beatriz's life begins to get a little more complicated after Rodolfo leaves for work in the capital, leaving her alone with a new circle of people that distrust her. When Beatriz begins to suspect that things aren't quite what they seem, she is ridiculed by Rodolfo's sister, Juana, and the Church. It isn't until she enlists the help of a young priest, Padre Andrés, where she begins to realize that Hacienda San Isidro's forces may be more sinister than she expected. I really enjoyed this book everyone! It's immersive, atmospheric, and so suspenseful. I really am enjoying this type of genre lately and I hope we see more of this supernatural gothic suspense in historical Latin American settings. This book is dense, and will not be for everybody, but once I got into the swing of things, I really couldn't put it down. If you enjoy slow building suspense, this is YOUR book! I cannot wait to see what this author has next up in store for us readers.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jordaline Vulva

    On paper, I should have loved this. It was lacking for me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Liese

    Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for the advance review copy—all opinions are my own! WOW. I am floored. I expected to love this because I am a sucker for an atmospheric gothic horror, but I was not prepared for how deeply immersed, invested, haunted, and moved I would be by THE HACIENDA. Set in the early nineteenth century, post-War for Independence period in Mexico, Isabel Cañas' debut drew me in with its vivid, gorgeous prose as well as the perfect balance of jump scares and mounting suspici Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for the advance review copy—all opinions are my own! WOW. I am floored. I expected to love this because I am a sucker for an atmospheric gothic horror, but I was not prepared for how deeply immersed, invested, haunted, and moved I would be by THE HACIENDA. Set in the early nineteenth century, post-War for Independence period in Mexico, Isabel Cañas' debut drew me in with its vivid, gorgeous prose as well as the perfect balance of jump scares and mounting suspicion about the evil that's at the heart of this story and the hacienda itself. Beatriz and Andrés are each in their own ways exiles and outcasts in a society plagued by racist colonialism and corrupt societal and religious systems. Seeing how these two main characters believed in each other as no one else had, the way in which they empowered each other to step fully into their strength and identity and ultimately vanquish the lies and hatred poisoning the place they both called home, was a powerful message against those oppressive, hateful systems that would seek to keep them down. I am so excited for the world to have this rich, atmospheric, poignant story. Cañas' gift for breathtaking prose and evocative storytelling is taking her places—I can't wait to see what she gives us next. Content notes: gore, violence, mentions of rape and abortion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ellis

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Berkley Publishing in exchange for a review. This somewhat predictable novel would have worked better for me as straight historical fiction. While I loved all of the lush, vivid descriptions of food and place and Cañas did a good job highlighting class disparities and the state of Mexico after the Revolutionary War, the tepid supernatural element here is a non-starter and could have been skipped altogether; the revelation about the haunting of the I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Berkley Publishing in exchange for a review. This somewhat predictable novel would have worked better for me as straight historical fiction. While I loved all of the lush, vivid descriptions of food and place and Cañas did a good job highlighting class disparities and the state of Mexico after the Revolutionary War, the tepid supernatural element here is a non-starter and could have been skipped altogether; the revelation about the haunting of the hacienda is obvious from the first creepy giggle Beatriz hears. Cañas throws a lot of disparate elements into the pot in the last third of the book whether they make sense together or not (view spoiler)[Murder! Exorcism! Fire! (hide spoiler)] and as a result the ending gets a little messy, but still agreeable. Two and a half stars rounded up.

  20. 5 out of 5

    sassafrass

    i'm gonna remove this from my total for the year because i got to page 97 and just...couldn't do it any more. i'd like to say if the publisher hadn't likened this book to mexican gothic (moreno-garcia can run laps around canas characterisation in her sleep) and the author didnt do a truly stupid interview where she claimed this book was fixing things she didn't like in REBECCA of all things then maybe i would have been able to cut it a break. but alas, even going into it blind as just a 'gothic i'm gonna remove this from my total for the year because i got to page 97 and just...couldn't do it any more. i'd like to say if the publisher hadn't likened this book to mexican gothic (moreno-garcia can run laps around canas characterisation in her sleep) and the author didnt do a truly stupid interview where she claimed this book was fixing things she didn't like in REBECCA of all things then maybe i would have been able to cut it a break. but alas, even going into it blind as just a 'gothic horror/romance' you'd be disappointed. the gothic is famous for atmosphere - crumbling buildings, decaying aristocrats, secrets in the soil, and the stretching of sanity. certainly there are texts that can go from 0-100, but those are usually things like dracula. or anything ever written by wilkie collins. and they can get away with it because they were forerunners, and unfortunately to the modern eye a lot of the things that would freak someone out in the 1800s are such staples of the mode that they are nothing but pure comedy (see: everything jonathan harker says or does) so when beatriz first sets foot in the house, gets jump scared about 8 times and instantly suspects foulplay/ghosts/murder/demons/everyone around her its not giving rebecca, its giving the conjuring. which, again. not so bad! except the conjuring has something else this book doesn't have! interesting and likeable protagonists. as mentioned with my snide mexican gothic comment earlier, the heroine in this book is uh. hm. how to put this? okay so you know how philipa gregory (noted historical hack, eternal nemesis etc) has this real problem in her writing where every woman is like 'i will seize the crown and take part in LAW and dont care WHAT my dad says' and you're reading it like 'this seems....wildly modern and out of place for 1253' it's the same thing here! only, it's not even able to commit to that because despite beatriz telling us repeatedly she's marrying for MONEY and to be her OWN WOMAN in the next paragraph she is crying in her bed wishing her husband was home so he could scare away the demons. she comes off as false, even in her own narration, which COULD be clever is the writer had actually intended it and did anything with that. but as established this writer seems to just be cutting bits out of other books she liked and pasting them over not really understanding how those things work or why. and before anyone gets the bright idea to be all 'oh so women in history didnt WANT things huh? didnt want POWER? what about [insert every queen in history etc]' i only have issue with authors who do stuff like this with their heroines without seeming to take into account any historical context, and seem to view the arenas of power women were able to operate in as lesser, and don't particularly seem to want to investigate why or how any woman who broke the mould did what she did (or how it actually ended for a lot of them) its immersion breaking (not great for historical fiction), and also makes beatriz incredibly shallow. she's not got any real desires of her own outside of being a mouthpiece to demonstrate the author is Challenging the Genre and Doing a Feminism. again, the heroine from mexican gothic is ALIVE. you get the sense she would be doing something if the perspective left her, whereas everyone in the hacienda would be dropped to the floor until the author required her dolls for the next scene. also - for a novel that purports to be about Doing the Feminism why, oh why, did we need to random priest to get a perspective? from the standpoint of 're-writing rebecca' its a misunderstanding of the source material so profound it is comical, from the lense of a novel that wants to be about female empowerment in a traditionally chauvinistic genre it undercuts the heroines voice, and from a craft perspective having a guy there who can apparently speak to the dead and knows a lot of the answers NARRATING THEM TO THE READER its shooting your tension in the KNEES. he even gets the first chapter!!!!! (which, hysterically i didn't realise, and almost didnt realise it again when the perspective switched because these perspectives sound SO IDENTICAL) im disappointed, and i have no idea who i could even recommend this book too? someone who has lived in a cave and seen no pop culture around horror in their entire lives? read...literally anything else. hell, read rebecca. read DRACULA. read the wikipedia synopsis for the conjuring. do NOT read this.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Scottsdale Public Library

    The Hacienda is the next hot read for fans of Gothic tales. Take one-part malevolent spooky house, one-part historical backdrop, and one part forbidden attraction, and you have a captivating and spine-chilling read. For Beatriz, marriage is the only way to escape a life under the rule of Tía Fernanda who poorly treats her mixed blood niece. Beatriz finds her salvation in Rodolfo Solórzano, a wealthy Hacendado. Upon arriving at the hacienda, Beatriz feels its strong imposing presence and is intro The Hacienda is the next hot read for fans of Gothic tales. Take one-part malevolent spooky house, one-part historical backdrop, and one part forbidden attraction, and you have a captivating and spine-chilling read. For Beatriz, marriage is the only way to escape a life under the rule of Tía Fernanda who poorly treats her mixed blood niece. Beatriz finds her salvation in Rodolfo Solórzano, a wealthy Hacendado. Upon arriving at the hacienda, Beatriz feels its strong imposing presence and is introduced to Juana, a less than welcoming sister-in-law. Not only does Juana not want her there, but the hacienda also manifests its displeasure in nights filled with terror, as bloody apparitions, bone-chilling cold and the touch of invisible hands clawing and pushing at Beatriz drive her close to madness. What may be her only hope to rid the house of its deadly spirits come in the form of Padre Andrés. Born on the hacienda and recently ordained, Padre Andrés not only knows the power of prayer, but also a dark and more ancient power. Brought together in their quest to end the haunting, a growing attraction threatens Beatriz’s marriage and Padre Andrés who faces prison or worse the Inquisition for his forbidden feelings for Beatriz and more so for the blasphemous power he possesses. Author Isabel Cañas uses her extensive scholarship in history, archaeology, religion and folk tales to weave together a tapestry of horror. After reading it I found I wanted to learn more about the old-world vs new world cultural friction that has been repeated over centuries as explorers traversed the oceans to new lands and peoples. For fans of Mexican Gothic, Rebecca, The Haunting of Hill House and other Gothic tales. Add The Hacienda to your must-read list and walk beyond the doors and into the terror that awaits.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    3.5 Stars This piece of Gothic historical horror definitely gave me vibes of Mexican Gothic. It is also clear that this book draws inspiration from Rebecca.   I really appreciated the ownvoices Mexican representation. I always appreciate fiction that can enhance my own experience and understanding with a culture that is not my own.  My challenge with the book was a personal one… and one that I expected when I chose to read this book. I found this one really slow.  It had some good foreboding moments 3.5 Stars This piece of Gothic historical horror definitely gave me vibes of Mexican Gothic. It is also clear that this book draws inspiration from Rebecca.   I really appreciated the ownvoices Mexican representation. I always appreciate fiction that can enhance my own experience and understanding with a culture that is not my own.  My challenge with the book was a personal one… and one that I expected when I chose to read this book. I found this one really slow.  It had some good foreboding moments, but not enough to keep me fully invested in the story. I was interested to know what was going on, but it felt drawn out to get there. Overall, I appreciated this one and would recommend to readers who enjoy diverse fiction or Gothic Horror.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    WHEEWWW, Isabel Cañas really took me on a whole journey with this one. I'm still absorbing everything that unfolded. Even as someone who doesn't read a ton of horror (I'm a scaredy cat to the MAX), I appreciated those elements and also loved the vivid world that Beatriz found herself in. I also appreciated Cañas' author's note at the end of the novel explaining all the historical elements she weaved into the story, including the complex systems of class and race during the time period. I can alrea WHEEWWW, Isabel Cañas really took me on a whole journey with this one. I'm still absorbing everything that unfolded. Even as someone who doesn't read a ton of horror (I'm a scaredy cat to the MAX), I appreciated those elements and also loved the vivid world that Beatriz found herself in. I also appreciated Cañas' author's note at the end of the novel explaining all the historical elements she weaved into the story, including the complex systems of class and race during the time period. I can already tell there'll be a lot of comparisons to 2020's Mexican Gothic, and while there are certainly similarities (both are set in Mexico at the scene of a spooky house following a recent union), they're definitely different books and should be treated as such. I'd say The Hacienda moved a tad quicker for me personally and was also a little more graphic in its horror. I'm super stoked for whatever Isabel Cañas has next up her sleeve. Content warning: Violence, colorism, mentions of rape, mentions of abuse, murder

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    Wow! Intense and creepy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Once in a great while, you come across a book that blows your mind. Sometimes it is hard to say what it is exactly. But you know this is going to be special. This book is one of those. The Hacienda is a mixture of so many nuances it completely sucks you in and blows your mind with the amazing skills the author displays. It is a lesson in history. A Gothic suspense of paranormal eeriness that causes you to hold your breath. It is a richly told, all-co Wow! Intense and creepy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Once in a great while, you come across a book that blows your mind. Sometimes it is hard to say what it is exactly. But you know this is going to be special. This book is one of those. The Hacienda is a mixture of so many nuances it completely sucks you in and blows your mind with the amazing skills the author displays. It is a lesson in history. A Gothic suspense of paranormal eeriness that causes you to hold your breath. It is a richly told, all-consuming story of sinister acts, dark secrets, forbidden love, power, and hate. It is a book you will not be able to stop reading and cannot wait to read again. This author has made her mark in the literary scene with this work of art that captures your soul on so many levels. Awesome story for lovers of scary stuff, ghosts stories, secret romance, and bumps in the night. I bet the audio version will be a winner too!!!! * copy received for review consideration * full review - https://amidlifewife.com/the-hacienda...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Jeffers

    I don't typically read horror, but I was drawn to The Hacienda by the comparisons to Mexican Gothic. This novel, about a woman who marries out of desperation after her father is murdered for his role in the war for Mexican Independence only to discover that her new home has some sinister supernatural baggage, was only just okay to me. I found that the plot twists were fairly predictable and the setting lacked an intriguing atmosphere. I seem to be alone in that opinion so far, so maybe I should I don't typically read horror, but I was drawn to The Hacienda by the comparisons to Mexican Gothic. This novel, about a woman who marries out of desperation after her father is murdered for his role in the war for Mexican Independence only to discover that her new home has some sinister supernatural baggage, was only just okay to me. I found that the plot twists were fairly predictable and the setting lacked an intriguing atmosphere. I seem to be alone in that opinion so far, so maybe I should chalk it up to this not being my usual jam?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Beatriz's world has been turned upside down, after her father is taken and executed at the end of the War to remove Spain's rule from Mexico she and her mother find themselves as unwanted guests at the home of her aunt. Treated like servants Beatriz is desperate to leave, so desperate in fact that she's willing to marry the handsome Rodolfo Solorzano, a wealthy land-owner she met at a ball. Beatriz's mother is absolutely against this marriage as it goes against everything her father stood for an Beatriz's world has been turned upside down, after her father is taken and executed at the end of the War to remove Spain's rule from Mexico she and her mother find themselves as unwanted guests at the home of her aunt. Treated like servants Beatriz is desperate to leave, so desperate in fact that she's willing to marry the handsome Rodolfo Solorzano, a wealthy land-owner she met at a ball. Beatriz's mother is absolutely against this marriage as it goes against everything her father stood for and is for all intents and purposes marrying the enemy. But, Beatriz goes through with it anyway seeing it as a way to give both herself and her mother a better life and a home. Within minutes of arriving at San Isidro though Beatriz feels something is very off with her new home, starting with a rat who's had its neck broken laying in the middle of the stairs. She also discovers she has an abrasive and strange sister-in-law whom she was never told about. As the days go on more and more inexplicable things happen in the home, things that terrify Beatriz to the point she is certain her home is haunted. She seeks help from the Church only to be treated like she is crazy, that is until she meets Padre Andres, who has a past connection with San Isidro and confirms to her that something is indeed very wrong with the house. With only Andres to help her Beatriz is terrified that the house will kill her before they can clean the rot that has infested it. I have been trying to find some sort of horror book that was actually somewhat scary for months, this book fell way short of that mark which was disappointing. It's really more of a murder mystery/romance than it is a horror story, as it more than any revolves around figuring out just what happened with Rodolfo's dead wife more than anything. And that is why I gave this four stars instead of five. That being said I did actually enjoy the mystery part of this. I honestly thought that Rodolfo had killed his wife for the vast majority of the book even after there is a bombshell dropped about the actual murderer I still believed he had to be the killer. Using the ghost as a clever way to mask that there was a murderer lurking in the shadows was fantastic I have to Canas that. I was more focused on the fact that the house may kill everyone than the fact that a living breathing person wanted everyone dead as well. I enjoyed Beatriz's character too, probably more than any other character including Andres the love interest. There's one point where she tells the ghost that if it kills her then it's stuck with her for eternity so it may want to think twice and that completely solidified Beatriz as a solid heroine for me, cause that's exactly what I'd do! Beatriz is terrified of whatever is in the house but it's not the standard "damsel in distress" situation by any means and I enjoyed that immensely. The ghost might scare her but she doesn't have to put up with its crap. Andres is interesting because he's pretty much the embodiment of colonialism in Mexico, everything he stands for is what Spain (and really every other colonizer in history) has tried to wipe out; the cultural and religious practices of the indigenous groups in the colonized areas. The book also does for the most part bring to light what those Native to Mexico would have endured during the Spanish colonization, it also makes a clear distinction between those of Spanish descent and those who were Native to Mexico at the time of colonization. For most Americans, I think that we associate Spain with Mexico and Mexico with Spain so much that we forget that Spanish isn't the native language of Mexico, far from it or that someone Native to Mexico isn't going to be light-skinned or oddly vice versa as I and I assume many have seen someone be absolutely gobsmacked when they realize that humans from Spain do not have dark skin but are fair and even blonde. But it's of course deeper than that. It's a story of colonization that we hear time and again throughout the Americas; Natives toiling on land that belongs to them, that has belonged to them for centuries under the watchful eye of a colonizer getting rich off of their work. Americans in general do not think about Mexico in these terms and I believe it's important that we do. Just like with Native Americans in America and Canada there were Native groups in Mexico that had their very way of life turned upside down, their cultural practices brutally torn from them, and their people forced into situations that most of us cannot even fathom today. The story of Mariana, especially, in this book is one that you can hear echoed throughout the southeast United States of slave owners and their wife's jealousies which ultimately resulted in the deaths of many young women. And yeah there are books on that. Specifically, the brutality young women faced at the hands of female slave owners. They aren't pretty books mind you but they are important reads. And while I found this slow to start it picks up in the last few chapters and becomes an edge-of-your-seat, nail-biter. And even the ending while not what I was expecting I found to be perfect given everything Beatriz had gone through. I'd want my freaking mom too! Overall, if you are picking this up because you are looking for a good scary read, keep in mind it's not really scary but it is a really great thriller with a murder mystery and a deranged killer lurking in the shadows, and just enough of romance to give you a break from the rest of it. Highly recommend it to anyone into period mysteries as well as horror novels. Blog Facebook Instagram

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Gagne

    This was a fun read. Not a necessarily a top read, but fun and action-packed for sure. Maybe 3.5 stars, rounded up. The book begins with Beatriz marrying Rodolpho Solórzano and taking her place running the San Isidro estate. Her own father was killed in the Mexican struggle for independence by revolutionaries who turned on him, and with her family name tainted the Hacienda represented freedom in her eyes. But it wasn't what she expected - a darkness had taken over the house. She meets Padre André This was a fun read. Not a necessarily a top read, but fun and action-packed for sure. Maybe 3.5 stars, rounded up. The book begins with Beatriz marrying Rodolpho Solórzano and taking her place running the San Isidro estate. Her own father was killed in the Mexican struggle for independence by revolutionaries who turned on him, and with her family name tainted the Hacienda represented freedom in her eyes. But it wasn't what she expected - a darkness had taken over the house. She meets Padre Andrés, a local priest with some extra magic under his belt, who becomes her only hope to battle the dark force in the house. One thing I loved in Mexican Gothic was the slow build of tension and suspense as the house slowly reveals the evil within, culminating in an unpredictable reveal. In The Hacienda, I didn't feel that same slow build and instead we sort of get thrown straight into the action. The twist wasn't the most surprising, either. I liked that there were some notes about the society of the time, particularly around race and class - I would have loved to see that explored more deeply. Overall it was a fun read, with lots of action and an interesting story. There was great ambiance and the author was particularly good at describing feelings: from Beatriz's creeping fear to full-on terror, it was very immersive.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    In 1823 Beatriz and her mother are left penniless after her father is executed, branded as a traitor by the new regime in Mexico. She marries Don Rodolfo, a wealthy man whose wife died under questionable circumstances. Beatriz hopes moving to his large hacienda will give her some freedom, but the house seems alive with malice. What is wrong with the hacienda, and why will no one believe her that strange things happen there? Padre Andres, a local priest, does believe her, but it his earlier histo In 1823 Beatriz and her mother are left penniless after her father is executed, branded as a traitor by the new regime in Mexico. She marries Don Rodolfo, a wealthy man whose wife died under questionable circumstances. Beatriz hopes moving to his large hacienda will give her some freedom, but the house seems alive with malice. What is wrong with the hacienda, and why will no one believe her that strange things happen there? Padre Andres, a local priest, does believe her, but it his earlier history as a witch that will help him in dealing with the evils of the hacienda. The author describes this novel as “an homage to Shirley Jackson and Daphne DuMaurier." Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tonya

    Wow! The Hacienda by Isabel Canas, is a psychological thriller. The suspense builds slowly as Beatrix starts to fear that there is something wrong with the hacienda. I love the story building and characters in The Hacienda. Solid suspense and it is hard to believe that this is Canas debut novel! What???

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Gothic???? *hyperventilates*

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