I am delighted to share my review for American Dirt by Jeannie Cummins. I read this book a few weeks ago and am just now sharing it. I do have quite a few books from my own TBR to get caught up on…
Let me show you what this book is all about…
También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams.
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?
This is a book that has a political aspect to it, it is about immigration into North American from South America. It is the story of a mother and her 8 year old son having to leave their home and make a 2,600 mile journey to start a new life.
Lydia and her son Luca are the only members of their family that have survived a brutal attack. Lydia realises that in order for her and her son to survive they must leave their home in Acapulco and make there way to North America.
The author has created a fictional account of a journey that many thousands have made. It is a story I enjoyed, even though it sounds very wrong to say this, I found it to be very compelling and very hard to put down.
Lydia and Luca meet several people on their journey. Some are very happy to help and give them and other travellers little food parcels, or turn on a hose pipe so they can wash, brush their teeth and refill water bottles. A simple show of humanity that is the difference between life and death.
The story takes the two across the countryside, through deserts, town, villages and cities. Travelling on top of a train, in the back of a truck or walking miles is part of what they have to do to survive.
This is a story that shows that determination, a story that shows what a parent will do to make sure her child has the best that can be given.
A book that was an eye-opener for various reasons, there are mentions of how cartels, smugglers, border patrols and officials all have a hand in this aspect of life. Some are good and turn a blind eye or give water and food, others are just there to take whatever they can.
A story that I would definitely recommend.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx