Goddess of Filth by V. Castro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Short review: When I purchased V Castro’s Goddess of Filth, I was expecting to be entertained, creeped out, maybe a little titillated. And I felt all of these things. However, I wasn’t expecting to cry my eyes out. Not in bad way, but in a way because I identified with the struggles of the main characters and felt seen and empowered at the same time. This is a powerful work, and one I think I will be coming back to time and time again.
Long review: Recently, I listened to an episode of a new podcast. She Wore Black is hosted by Agatha Andrews and she talks all things dark and deep. Season 2 Episode 19 was Erotic Horror with V. Castro. I had heard the name in passing recently, since this author has been tapped to write a novelization based on the life of Vasquez from Aliens (which is very cool) that’s scheduled to come out later in the year.
I listened to the episode in preparation of some blog posts I’m planning on posting soon. It was a good episode and I highly recommend it. Afterwards, I definitely wanted to pick up some of V’s work. I chose Goddess of Filth because… well, the name grabbed me. It just does that.
Then, the description hooked me deep.
“Five of us sat in a circle doing our best to emulate the girls in The Craft, hoping to unleash some power to take us all away from our home to the place of our dreams. But we weren’t witches. We were five Chicanas living in San Antonio, Texas, one year out of high school.”
You mention The Craft to a girl who had “We are the weirdos, mister” as her Senior Quote and you pique her interest. So I was on the hook for this book.
I’m not going to get too much into the story. At 141 pages, it’s a quick read. I managed it in a day. The story of Lourdes, Fernanda, Perla, Ana, and Pauline unfolds at a rapid, easy-to-read pace. The five girls conduct a seance and then have to deal with the repercussions of what they unleashed. What follows is a powerful and moving work about womanhood that I think should be required reading in high school, personally.
This maybe doesn’t sound like a horror novel to some of you, but I assure you it is. There is terror in these girls dealing with burgeoning womanhood. The kind of terror every woman knows and deals with, but more than that. These girls have to contend also with the horror experienced by belonging to a group of marginalized people. Still, most of their struggles will resonate with you no matter what. I’m long past the age the girls in the book are experiencing, and this tale brought back that time vividly.
Is there eroticism in this book? Yes, both the terrible and wonderful.
Look, all I’m saying is, the title and the description hook you like they did me, you should definitely buy this book immediately. Get some extra copies for all the women in your life.
Have you read Goddess of Filth? Got an opinion? Comment below!