Title: American Dirt
Author: Jeanine Cummins
Pages: 480 Pages
Publisher: Tinder Press
Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.
Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.
Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?
American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times.
Already being hailed as “a Grapes of Wrath for our times” and “a new American classic,” Jeanine Cummins’s American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.
It has been a good few years since I have read a book that has opened my eyes to a completely different way of life but man oh man American Dirt did that for me.
Whilst I am aware of the controversy that has surrounded the release of this title I am also aware that books of this ilk need to be written. And yes, author Jeanine Cummins may not get everything right and may have ruffled some feathers with her creation the alternative is that we never get a glimpse into other worlds.
I mean, isn’t that the point of literature? To make us more empathetic?
With American Dirt I felt the desperation of a situation that I couldn’t even begin to contemplate. A mother’s love, a journey across borders, chance encounters. It is a book of an epic journey.
I cannot recommend American Dirt enough. It is one of the strongest narratives that I have read in2020 so far.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins is available now.
For more information regarding Jeanine Cummins (@jeaninecummins) please visit www.jeaninecummins.com.
For more information regarding Tinder Press (@TinderPress) please visit www.headline.co.uk.