Read advance reader review of American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, page 4 of 5

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American Dirt

A Novel

by Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins X
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2020, 400 pages

    Feb 2022, 416 pages


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Page 4 of 5
There are currently 33 member reviews
for American Dirt
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  • Sherilyn R. (St George, UT)
    An Extraordinary Book
    On television almost every day I see stories about the immigrant problem. What I don't see are stories about the journeys these people have gone through to come north to escape the brutality and horror they experienced in their home countries. This book clearly details the day to day experience of being a migrant, the sense of being prey, the unimaginable fear, the occasional act of kindness, the powerlessness, the hopelessness and the rage.

    Lydia and Luca, Soledad and Rebecca, the protagonists in American Dirt, became very real. How they came to love and trust and help each other in a world where such feelings and actions are rare became the core of this story. I was obsessed with their story. It was impossible to put this book down.

    I strongly recommend this book. It has everything, great writing, unforgettable characters and a riveting story. It goes without saying that this is one of the most important and best books I have read in a long time.
  • Amber H. (Asheville, NC)
    One of the best books I have ever read. From the very first page to the last, I was hooked.

    The story of Lydia & Luca is so beautifully written. I felt I was actually with them on every step of their journey.

    This book isn't for the faint of heart - there are very difficult, emotional and violent moments. But this is also the reality of the world today, which makes it an important read.

    I appreciate the research and heart Jeanine Cummins put into this book. This is a story that will stay with me.
  • Karen B. (La Grange, KY)
    Lives up to the hype
    American Dirt is an intimate, authentic, compelling story of anguish and hope, of triumph over extraordinary trauma. A compelling and timely story of the often inconceivable hardships faced by asylum seekers, American Dirt is challenging without being preachy or moralistic. In the author's note, Cummins writes that she is "acutely aware that the people coming to our southern border are not one faceless brown mass but singular individuals, with stories and backgrounds and reasons for coming that are unique." She hoped "to present one of those unique personal stories -- a work of fiction -- as a way to honor the hundreds of thousands of stores we may never get to hear". That she did. This was an extraordinary book that lives up to the hype.
  • Beth M. (New York, NY)
    An extraordinary immigrant story
    I loved this book. It was compelling, frightening, tender and expansive. It really seated you in the experience of a Mexican mother and son on the run from a dangerous drug cartel lord. Their journey from Mexico to America is harrowing and unimaginable. Read this book and you will support every immigrant organization you can. This book is so special and written. You won't be able to put it down. When writers like Stephen King, John Grisham, Julia Alvarez and Tara Conklin highly recommend it, you must take notice. You will be better for the experience. Thank you BookBrowse.
  • Regiene P. (Crestview, FL)
    Both sensitive and strong, a must-read!
    También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams.

    This has become one of my favorite books of all time since The Storyteller of Jodi Picoult. Cummins wants to tell a story of the victims more than the perpetrators and she successfully delivered it well. American Dirt narrates the plight of migrants from Mexico and Central America, about running away from the life they didn't know they will have to leave behind. Beautifully written with a crisp understanding of the cartels and the migrants' journey to el norte, the novel moves emotions with tales of horror, suffering, love, friendship, loss, and hope. 378 pages of solid skillful storytelling that depicts humanity in its core. Both sensitive and strong, this novel is a must-read!
  • Ilyse B. (Howell, NJ)
    Highly Recommended
    Every once in a while you go in to a book with no expectations whatsoever, and it blows you away. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins is one of those books.
    On the surface, it is a story about a mother and her child trying to escape a drug cartel in Mexico, but it is really so much more. It is a story about the families we are born into and the families we make. About a mother's love for her son and her willingness to do anything to keep him safe even though she is absolutely terrified. It's about the ability of the human spirit to endure no matter how horrific an experience they have lived through.

    The book draws you in immediately-the first pages are heartbreaking yet you will race on to finish them. Every character is fully formed and the author clearly knows what she is writing about. Beautiful writing, believable characters and a story that is so timely in the world we currently live in. Highly recommended for any reader and it will certainly spark a lot of conversation if read in a book club. This book actually gave me a book hangover that is making it difficult for me to move on to another story. I can't recommend this book enough.
  • Nanette C. (Sarasota, FL)
    A literary masterpiece everyone should read
    Imagine yourself at a family party in Acapulco. The festivities are underway, and everyone is having a wonderful time. In a split second, gunfire breaks out, leaving 16 members of your family dead. You and your son are alive only because he had gone inside and you went in to check on him. You hear the gunmen -- cartel members you assume -- looking around for survivors. By pure luck and instinct, the two of you survive. But this is only the beginning of the story. And I mean literally. This is not a spoiler, but what happens within the first few pages of the book.
    Now Lydia and Luca are on the run as the cartel searches for them to complete the task of wiping out the entire family. As the story progresses, we learn what transpired that led to these heinous murders. We learn of a surprising relationship Lydia, a bookstore owner, has with one of the cartel members. And, most importantly, we learn of Lydia and Luca's struggle to reach the border to freedom in the United States and the people they meet along the way.
    Cummins' writing is beautiful and compelling. There are moments of abject terror, but there are also moments of joy. The way Lydia holds it together for her son reminded me a bit of the father in the movie "Life is Beautiful."
    "American Dirt" is a novel you will never forget. It is an example of the way fiction can shine a light on an international crisis--immigration, in this case--by giving it a face. A must-read book.

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