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A haunting thriller as this Book of the Month's recommendation: 'The Hacienda'

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Beth Gabriel
Milwaukee Public Library
MPL Librarian Beth Gabriel with "The Hacienda."

Every month on Lake Effect, we partner with the Milwaukee Public Library for our Book of the Month Series to bring you new reading recommendations.

Beth Gabriel is a librarian reference assistant at the east branch. She has a book pick that celebrates the gradual transition into the Halloween season and continues to honor Hispanic Heritage Month, which ends on Oct. 15.

Gabriel describes The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas as a psychological and Gothic horror romance, merging two classic and similarly common story genres. Gabriel says, "I chose it because it is currently Hispanic Heritage month and the author is Mexican-American and she pulls a lot of her culture."

"It starts at the end of the Mexican Revolution... there's a huge amount of Catholicism and Indigenous religious practices that come together and you can see the parallels between the two and how after the Inquisition happened in Mexico, people are still practicing some of these things that were frowned upon by Catholicism but also taken [by Catholic influence] and used for power. So, all of that was really intriguing to me," says Gabriel.

The story follows the main character, Beatrice, who has recently married a handsome and charming widower. The marriage seems to be a welcome escape from an unpleasant living environment caused by the antagonistic's relationships between Beatrice and her family. Despite her large and beautiful new home and her husband's charming personality, Beatrice begins to understand the disheartening reason why he is recently single and must navigate her way through the dangerous position.

Through the month of October, the Milwaukee Public Library is hosting a series of fall and Halloween-themed events. There is a pop horror genre book club meeting on Oct. 31 at the MPL Bay View branch.

The Library is also offering a crafts event hosted at the MPL Zablocki branch on Oct.15.


Mallory Cheng joined WUWM as a producer for Lake Effect in 2021.
Robert Larry joined WUWM in 2022 as a digital producer.
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