The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

Driven by her need to find a solid future for her mother & herself, Beatriz accepts Don Rodolfo Solórzano’s proposal despite the rumours surrounding his former wife’s death. Unfortunately for her, what awaits at his countryside mansion is far from the safety she seeks.

Isabel Cañas’ writing is like dark chocolate; it is decadent in its exploration of Spanish culture & history while also carrying a hint of greater mystery at the heart of the story.

I love what she has done for the horror genre. It’s not easy for a book to make me jumpy, and this one did. The scenes where Beatriz and Andrés were trying to quell the evil spirit in the house truly left me with chills.

Image Courtesy – Goodreads

For the most part, I think it’s the way the gothic elements have been described that makes the writing effective.

While there’s the quintessential slamming of doors, eerie laughter floating through dark hallways, and such, the descriptions of the scene ease into your mind with a subtlety you don’t realise.

Through chapters alternating between two perspectives, the plot develops further.

It explores arcs like Andrés’ religious connection, the forbidden romance brewing between him and Beatriz, the hacienda’s history, and how almost no one believes them about the hacienda being haunted. This creates a sense of them vs us and truly makes you more apprehensive of what’s going to happen next.

You also get a glimpse of how Beatriz’s family has been impacted by the political turbulence in Mexico.

It was great touring Hacienda San Isidro through the eyes of a morally grey character. Beatriz is on a mission and she is determined to take charge of her future through the security that Rodolfo provides.

I didn’t particularly enjoy reading the chapters from Andrés’ perspective; at least the flashback ones. It felt like the narrative went around in circles for a bit and there wasn’t much of a direction.

On the flip side, I found his characterisation to be interesting; he is one of the most conflicted characters, has a secret to hide, finds himself questioning his path, and so on.

I would’ve also loved for Juana, Rodolfo’s sister, to have had a bigger presence in the book.

She introduces the right amount of tension as an antagonist. Had her storyline been a bit more intricately woven into the main plot, I think the ending would’ve made a lot more sense. And not just felt like something that came out of the blue.

The highlight of this book has to be the writing. I would gladly pick up more of the author’s works because I love how vivid her writing style is.

After the resolution, the ending perfectly aligned with everything we’ve come to know about this particular character. If a different decision had been made, I’m sure I would’ve been disappointed.

Whether you enjoy reading horror books, especially books about old houses harbouring evil forces, you should definitely give The Hacienda a try!

Published by Meera Nair

A 27 year-old freelance Content Writer, who spends all her free time ensconced in the pages of a book or writing to her heart's content about topics that excite the creative spirit in her.

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