Review: The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

This one didn't entirely work for me.

The Hacienda by Isabel Canas

Released May 2022

Source: Library Borrow

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Bookshop

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.

My 2 Cents for Free!

Hmmm, have you ever read a book and ended up almost feeling more sympathy for one of the villains than for the main character? Even when you know you absolutely should not because the villain is pretty damn Evil but at least they had some oomph or some potential for it, you know? Ugh. That just happened with The Hacienda because the main character is such a bland, passive person but let me back up a bit . . .

Beatriz (oh before I start, I listened on audio so please excuse any name misspellings or whatever) is in desperate straits and wants a nice home to help her mom so she marries a widower whose ominous reputation cloaks him in a haze of ominousness but he has a fabulous estate and nobody’s perfect, right? So, you know, it’s easy enough to ignore all the signs . . .

And boy are there ever signs! Right from the beginning, Beatriz learns that no one likes to stay inside the mansion after dark but she doesn’t ask why. It is suspected that something ominous befell the previous wife but no one talks about that. Soon she hears voices and sees frightening sights that may or may not be real. Again, she doesn’t demand or even confront hubs or his family with this stuff and beg for answers. Instead, she enlists the help of a handsome priest to help her bless the home or exorcise it or something like that. Not that I’m knocking her for wanting to spend time with the sexy priest (who has some secrets of his own!) instead of her loathsome husband BUT, well, I’ll just shut it here before someone gets mad at me for sharing too much.

I mentioned above Beatriz is super inactive and though the book began very creepily I soon lost interest in her plight. She was too bland a character for me to root for and I found myself wishing at several points that she’d DO something (ANYTHING!) herself besides marrying a dude and asking another dude to help fix things. I’m just out of patience for that. Honestly, this could’ve been so much more interesting to me (and it’s all about me) if it had been told from the POV of almost anyone else. Beatriz was just a meh character and I soon found myself a bit bored. And the final ending just about did me in Spoiler Warning: 

However, there are some beautiful passages here and some lovely gothic elements and I can see why people are loving it. I’m just too grumpy for this type of main character and I’ll freely admit that.

I guess I’m giving it a three or a 2.75 may be more accurate. I liked some of it, was annoyed by some of it but I didn’t actively dislike it. I hate rating reading experiences like this but here we are 😑

⭐ (actually 2.75 but I don't have the talents needed to create a .75 slice of star)


  1. If I can't like the main character I usually end up not liking the book. I probably would have DNFed this one.

    1. I'd rather a character be horrible than dull. This is probably one I should've quit. I keep saying I'm going to be better about that.

  2. Oh Beatriz. Way too trusting. :) I read the spoiler too and that made me laugh. Seriosuly? Ha.

    I've heard raves about this so this is good to know. I do want to try this author but maybe not this one lol. :)

    1. It was *almost* as frustrating as the "it was all a dream" ending.

  3. Dull characters just make the story so boring. At least with a really good villain, it's exciting to see what they will do next.

    1. Yep, give me a well written villain every day! They're usually never boring.

  4. This book was everywhere not that long ago. I didn't think that it would be for me and after reading your review, I am convinced that I should skip it.

    1. It gets a lot of "Mexican Gothic" comparisons and I can kind of see that but in the end, it wasn't meant for me.

  5. Oooh, super intrigued about the villain!

  6. "(actually 2.75 but I don't have the talents needed to create a .75 slice of star)" lol - IT seems reviewers are in need of broader spectrum of star variations ha

    Karen @For What It's Worth


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