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'Breathtaking... I haven't been so entirely consumed by a book for years' Telegraph
'I couldn't put it down. I'll never stop thinking about it' Ann Patchett
An extraordinary story of the lengths a mother will go to to save her son, AMERICAN DIRT has sold over 2 million copies worldwide. It's time to read what you've been missing.
Lydia Perez owns a bookshop in Acapulco, Mexico, and is married to a fearless journalist. Luca, their eight-year-old son, completes the picture. But it only takes a bullet to rip them apart.
In a city in the grip of a drug cartel, friends become enemies overnight, and Lydia has no choice but to flee with Luca at her side. North for the border... whatever it takes to stay alive. The journey is dangerous - not only for them, but for those they encounter along the way. Who can be trusted? And what sacrifices is Lydia prepared to make.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In selecting American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins as her book club pick, Oprah called it “a novel not just for our times, but for this moment in our times.” This unforgettable story opens with mother and son Lydia and Luca hiding in a shower stall as a riot of bullets and screaming shatters their world. The book then follows the duo as they flee their hometown of Acapulco, Mexico, and attempt to reach the U.S. border before the attackers find them. Cummins succeeds in putting us in her migrant characters’ shoes, taking us on a 2,645-mile, moment-by-moment odyssey of hardship, terror, tragedy, resilience, and hope. She gives Lydia, Luca, and their travelling companions Rebeca and Soledad compelling and vivid backstories, making tangible everything that is left behind in the journey to el norte. Yes, this is an important, eye-opening read about one of the central news stories of our time, but it’s also an unbelievably gripping novel that makes you wish for more hours in your day.
With this devastating yet hopeful work, Cummins (The Crooked Branch) breathes life into the statistics of the thousands fleeing their homelands and seeking to cross the southern border of the United States. By mere chance, Lydia Quixano P rez and her eight-year-old son, Luca, survive the massacre of the rest of her family at her niece's quincea era by sicarios of the Los Jardineros cartel in Acapulco. Compounding the horror of the violence and loss is the fact that the cartel's leader is a man that Lydia unwittingly befriended in her bookstore. Lydia and Luca flee north to the only refuge that she can imagine: her uncle's family in Denver. North of Mexico City, all other sources of transportation become impossible, so mother and son must risk traveling atop La Bestia, the freight trains that are the only way to reach the border without being seen. They befriend two beautiful sisters Soledad, 15, who is "a living miracle of splendor," and Rebeca, 14 who have fled life-threatening circumstances in Honduras. As the quartet travel, they face terror on a constant basis, with danger possible from any encounter, but also compassion and occasionally even wonder. This extraordinary novel about unbreakable determination will move the reader to the core.