Welcome back to the bookclub! In February, we read Goddess of Filth by V. Castro for The You’ll Read Too Bookclub! If you wish to access all of the latest updates/information, click here. Spoilers ahead!
Quick Reminder: This month we are reading ‘Dead Silence’ by S.A. Barnes
Today I’m going to discuss the book in the same way I normally do the IGTV videos. You can find the IGTV video for this talk on my bookclub Instagram page. I’ll give a quick plot summary plus my overall star/scare-factor ratings. Then I will share the discussion topics and trivia questions. Please include all of your answers and opinions down below. I want to know exactly what you thought. I’ll also leave the answers to the trivia questions at the very bottom of the post, so if you wish to guess without being spoiled, do not scroll to the end until you’re ready. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
GODDESS OF FILTH by V. CASTRO – FEBRUARY 2022
One hot summer night, best friends Lourdes, Fernanda, Ana, Perla, and Pauline hold a séance. It’s all fun and games at first, but their tipsy laughter turns to terror when the flames burn straight through their prayer candles and Fernanda starts crawling toward her friends and chanting in Nahuatl, the language of their Aztec ancestors. Over the next few weeks, shy, modest Fernanda starts acting strangely – smearing herself in black makeup, shredding her hands on rose thorns, sucking sin out of the mouths of the guilty. The local priest is convinced it’s a demon, but Lourdes begins to suspect it’s something else – something far more ancient and powerful.
OVERALL STAR RATING
I gave this a rating of 4/5 stars. It was a fun, quick read with great Latina representation and strong, feminist morals. I will say, it took a strange turn that I wasn’t expecting. For that reason, I docked a star. I’m not sure what it was but I didn’t feel wholly satisfied by the end. However, I would absolutely recommend it. It was short, spooky and seductive. I’m such a fan of possession stories.
OVERALL SCARE-FACTOR RATING
I didn’t find the story overly scary. I think it was because Fernanda’s inhabitant was a morally grey demon. She seemed more helpful than harmful. The only part that got under my skin was when Father Moreno’s victim came out of the coffin-like container. Ugh! I gave it a 2/5 for scare-factor.
1.) Did the inhabitant seem ultimately good or bad by the end?
This is the million-dollar question. In my opinion, it seemed in favour of Fernanda and wanted to help her, rather than harm her. It even asked for her consent at one point and Fernanda replied that she was content for it to stick around. However, I don’t believe I can place it in the ‘good’ category, as it was still a demon possessing her soul and changing her appearance/behaviour. It also encouraged Fernanda to ‘drink the sins’ of the wicked. This leeched the victims of their darkness. In that sense, you could almost refer to her as the demonic Dexter. What do you think?
2.) In what ways was this a feminist horror novella?
This is an extremely sex positive novella for women. The girls in the friendship group love talking about sex, the enjoyment of masturbation and sleeping with men purely because it empowers them. There is a scene where the possessed Fernanda pleasures herself and her best friend, Lourdes, simply puts a blanket over her legs and allows her to continue. There is no shaming or treating it like some depraved act. I really enjoyed that aspect. It was refreshing to see.
3.) What was Father Moreno trying to achieve?
In my opinion, Father Moreno was the real villain of the story and the inhabitant, the lesser of two evils. He was your typical repressed, religious fanatic that wanted to ‘put women in their place’ and cleanse them of their ‘impurities.’ He was also storing the dead body of a woman he believed led him on. Whatever he was trying to achieve was not rooted in reality or for the greater good.
Easy: What horror movie did Lourdes mention at the start and the end of the book?
Medium: What were the names of the five friends?
Hard: What was the name of Fernanda’s mother?
I hope you enjoyed the book club discussion in this post and on Instagram. As mentioned above, share all of your thoughts in the comments below! If you have any feedback/suggestions to improve the bookclub, please let me know. I look forward to talking to you all next month! Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
TRIVIA ANSWERS: Easy: The Craft. Medium: Lourdes, Fernanda, Ana, Perla and Pauline. Hard: Yolanda.