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American Dirt

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  1,732 ratings  ·  775 reviews
American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

Lydia Quixano Perez 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
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by Flatiron Books
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  • American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
    American Dirt
    Release date: Jan 21, 2020
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    Giveaway dates: Jan 13 - Jan 20, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Average rating 4.59  · 
    Rating details
     ·  1,732 ratings  ·  775 reviews

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    Nilufer Ozmekik
    Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    What a mind blowing beginning of a book! A mother, Lydia and her little boy, Luca hid themselves in the bathtub for not being other victims of family massacre. The contract killers/ most dangerous drug-lord’s dirtbags kept looking for them, firing their guns, calling their names. And finally they thought they were not at the house so they left the place and 16 innocent victims behind.

    Now mother and her son have to leave the country for staying alive because one of the powerful men is chasing
    Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    No doubt this will be THE book of 2020.

    The Where The Crawdads Sing book of 2020.

    I've never read Crawdads and I wouldn't have read American Dirt if not so kindly offered the opportunity by the publisher.

    This is so far from my usual genre.

    Give me a thriller any day.

    I want to feel compelled to flip the pages while balancing on the edge of my seat.

    I want to lose sleep because I can't put a book down, a heart racing, just one more chapter type of story.


    Chelsea Humphrey
    Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Recommended to Chelsea by: Flatiron Books
    "Outside the window he hears Mami's tentative footsteps, the soft scuff of her shoe through the remnants of something broken. A solitary gasp, too windy to be called a sob. Then a quickening of sound as she crosses the patio with purpose, depresses the keys on her phone. When she speaks, her voice has a stretched quality that Luca has never heard before, high and tight in the back of her throat.

    "Send help." "

    Friends, fellow readers, and anyone with a beating heart, I encourage you to pick up
    Anne Bogel
    Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I thought this was absolutely fantastic and I can't wait for everyone I know to read it so we can talk about it together. If you follow me, you know I have a sweet spot for what I like to call "compulsively readable literary fiction." This is it.
    Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This is a timely and powerful portrayal of the plight of the migrant. An innocent mother and her young son desperately and illegally attempt to enter the US from Mexico while fleeing from a cartel. The beginning is brutal and the tension never ceases. The cartel’s savagery is not the focus of the novel but it is the impetus. At its heart, this is a novel about victims and there are victims aplenty. No one is to be trusted. Although, amid much cold-blooded barbarity and those out to make quick ...more
    4.5 Stars

    Beginning at the end, or perhaps more accurately – after the end of the story, for a change. In the Author’s Note at the end of the story, Cummins writes:

    ”As I traveled and researched, even the notion of the American dream began to feel proprietary. There’s a wonderful piece of graffiti on the border wall in Tijuana that became, for me, the engine of this whole endeavor. I photographed it and made it my computer wallpaper. Anytime I faltered or felt discouraged, I clicked back to my
    Chaima ✨ شيماء
    95% of my existence on this earth currently revolves around looking forward to reading this book because of the insane amount of rave reviews I'm seeing everywhere
    Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2020
    5 full-blown amazing stars

    This will be in my top reads for 2020. Amazing book. I don’t think I’ve read many books set in Mexico so at first this one didn’t jump out at me, then I started seeing all the hype and I was able to get the book through BookBrowse. Let me just say, this is SO worth it and I highly recommend this one. My review will not give away many details because I think it’s best to go into it blind.

    The main character in this tale is Lydia, a bookstore owner in Acapulco, married to
    “If there’s one good thing about terror, Lydia now understands, it’s that it’s more immediate than grief.”

    She has an eight-year-old boy, Luca, and is running for her life, so she will have to set her grief aside until finding safety doesn’t consume her every thought. It is beyond my ken how people are able to lock away such powerful feelings into mental “boxes”.

    I remember seeing a mother interviewed (much later) after her father had murdered all her children (as I recall), and she told how she
    Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    A beautifully written and timely story that is suspenseful, compelling and deeply affecting.

    In a pleasant Acapulco neighborhood, gunmen slaughter 16 people at a family barbecue. From a grandmother, to the young girl who was celebrating her quinceañera, they are all dead. The only survivors were Lydia, a young mother and her eight-year-old son, Luca. Lydia knew they must run as fast and as far as possible.

    Among the dead is Sebastian, Lydia‘s husband, a well-known journalist who had just
    Dec 23, 2019 added it
    Shelves: fiction, women
    The Hook - Rumors that it would be the book at Book Expo 2019.

    The Line - One of the very first bullets comes in through the open window above the toilet where Luca is standing.”

    The Sinker - Have you ever experienced a horrible trip or had a bad experience visiting another country, one that made you promise to kiss American soil and be happy to be on solid American ground if you made it home? We take our freedom and homeland for granted. Imagine living in village in Mexico. You are a bookstore
    Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Recommended to Dennis by: Chelsea Humphrey
    I've seen literally everyone on here give American Dirt five stars, and rightfully so. In today's political climate, the United States has a southern border and everyone has an opinion on how immigration through that border should be regulated. Jeanine Cummins shines a light on the daily life that a family from Acapulco struggles with the day-to-day life with drug cartels. In fact, Acapulco used to be a major tourist destination, but as time progresses, drug cartels and crime has run rampant ...more
    Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

    “También de este lado hay sueños”. On this side, too, there are dreams.

    Lydia Quixano Pérez runs a bookstore in Acapulco, Mexico, where she lives with her husband, Sebastián, who is a journalist, and their eight year old son, Luca.

    Her husband writes about Javier the new head of the drug cartel in Acapulco. Javier had his entire family killed during a family party, a quincenera where 16 people died. Lydia and her son Luca miraculously survives and flees Acapulco to
    Aga Durka
    Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    5 Brilliant Stars!!!

    This book is a MUST-READ for everyone!

    Jeanine Cummins wrote a suspenseful and a heartbreaking story, a story that will stay with me for a very long time. This book had my heart pounding and tears rolling down my face, and I am so very impressed with the author’s ability to write such a timely novel with so much grace and honesty.

    American Dirt is a powerful and an important story and it is easily one of my favorite books of all time.

    So yes, the hype is real! Now do yourself
    Liz Barnsley
    Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Oh this book.
    I wasn’t going to review for a while given that this is a 2020 publication but American Dirt is one of those books you finish and immediately need to talk about. So a short sharp review now then when next year rolls around trust me, I’ll be back. Annoying y’all until you read it.
    American Dirt is impeccably researched which gives it full flavour but the beauty and the horror of it all comes across because the writing, the sense of it, is stunningly authentic. It hits you right in the
    Basic B's Guide
    Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
    American Dirt 5 star review

    Clear your calendars because once you start this book you will not have time to do anything else. It will consume you and destroy you and you will never ever be the same.

    So, yes, the hype is absolutely real with this 2020 release and I urge you to get those preorders and library holds in NOW. I alternated between the audio (thank you for the ALC) and the physical copy (Thank you @flatironbooks) and in the end the audio won out. The narration was perfection
    Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    How do I even begin to do justice to a book that is so brilliantly-written, harrowing, poignant, thought-provoking, strongly-plotted and heart-stopping?

    Perhaps with this: American Dirt is one of those rare books that will not only galvanize readers with its story and with its characters, but also change the way we think about our human condition. At this sad juncture in American history where desperate people who are fleeing for their lives are portrayed as a homogeneous brown mass clamoring for
    Melissa Crytzer Fry
    Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I am SO fortunate to have gotten my hands on this book in advance of publication (thanks to my book angel). It was THE way to wind down the reading year: to be totally absorbed in a gut-punch of a book that had me on the edge of my seat, feeling worried, scared, hopeful, despairing; feeling love, seeing the kindness and unkindness of humanity. I was so totally rapt and IN the minds of every single character. This is third-omniscient point of view rendered flawlessly.

    As the publisher's personal
    Renee (itsbooktalk)
    Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    What do I say about a book that I want everyone to read but the less you know about the plot the better? How about- read this because once you start you won’t be able to stop! The opening scene, set in the Mexican city of Acapulco is terrifying, heart-stopping and introduces us to one mother, Lydia, and her 8-year-old son Luca, whose lives are forever changed in the span of 60 sec. by cartel violence and murder.

    Lydia’s once normal life as a married mom and owner of a bookstore is gone and to
    Dec 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
    An appropriating, inaccurate, torture-porn book about Mexico. Cummins received a seven-figure advance no Mexican writer would have. Ya basta con estas pendejadas.

    Read one of the many books on immigration BY FREAKING CHICANOS AND MEXICANS that already exist. I mean, she sure as hell did:

    "My research started with reading everything Luis Alberto Urrea ever wrote. Then I read everything else I could find about contemporary Mexico and by contemporary Mexican writers. Then I read everything I could
    Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: favorites, netgalley
    I was nine years old when I concluded that being a writer was the most important career in the world because books could make us cry and laugh and dream and envision another reality. The idea of being an art teacher or a music teacher or someone dedicated to God dropped by the wayside. I wanted to be a writer because of the great power of the pen, the way books change lives.

    A book like American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins exemplifies the wisdom of the nine-year-old me. For in telling the riveting
    Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2019, netgalley
    American Dirt is not an easy read, but it's an engrossing, important one. This book tells the story of several migrants making their way through Mexico, hoping to enter the U.S. For most of them, the journey begins with violence.

    The central characters, Lydia and Luca, are the only survivors of a drug cartel massacre that kills sixteen members of the same family. Convinced that the cartel will continue to hunt them, Lydia flees home and the bookstore she runs in Acapulco with her eight-year-old
    Bonnie Brody
    Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I didn't think my eyes were able to open as wide as they did as I read this amazing novel. The narrative, plot, character development, and many twists and turns kept me glued to the pages with emotional glue. Jeanine Cummins writes with empathy, clarity and acuity about the plight of South American migrants hoping to get to U.S. soil. The novel has many difficult passages that brought tears to my eyes but it is a poignant rendering of what comprises the truth for way too many who seek a new life ...more
    May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    A big thank you to Amy Einhorn for an early copy of this book. I have no doubt this will be the “big book of the moment” when it is released in January. Personally I loved it. The author Jeanine Cummins has a gift for characterization and solid writing skills and she presented the illegal immigration story in a way I have not seen before….it was fresh and interesting throughout as we watch these people literally running for their lives.

    Mexico is complicated. I have no doubt that Cummins knows
    Jennifer Blankfein
    Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Wow! So timely, heartbreaking, and powerful. A fear induced adventure- the search for freedom- immigration, Mexico, drug cartels, and the power of common experience...I loved this journey! Preorder a copy today! Full review to come on Book Nation by Jen.
    switterbug (Betsey)
    Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    American Dirt is a page-turning story of crisis and survival, of frightened eyes opening to the future with hope and courage. It begins with a jolt, “in media res,” or right in the middle of a scene--and, oh, what a moment! A violent tragedy forces Lydia Perez, a Mexican mother, and her eight-year-old son, Luca, to flee their home in Acapulco to escape the clutches of a drug lord, and make bold moves to cross the border into America, or el norte. Cummins infuses a propulsive plot with textured ...more
    Gloria Arthur
    Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    American Dirt is an incredible and emotional story that begins with the most violent and heart wrenching family massacre that leaves sixteen innocent victims dead during a family barbeque, birthday celebrations. Lydia Quixano Perez and her eight-year old son Lucas miraculously survive the massacre by hiding indoors, in the shower alcove. Lydia’s mother and husband have been murdered along with the rest of her family.

    Lydia and Luca must now run for their lives and flee the country far away from
    Tom Mooney
    Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I'm not sure I have the words to express what a momentous book this is. There will be a lot of hype around it when it is published and all I can say is: Believe every single word of it.

    Don Winslow has called it a "Grapes of Wrath for our times" and I have to say I completely agree. Cummins has done for the Latin American migrant what Steinbeck did for the Okies. She has humanised their experience.

    The book opens with Lydia and her young son Luca cowering in their bathroom while Cartel thugs
    Jessica Jeffers
    Oh my God, it's unreal how good this book is.
    Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Thank you to Amy Einhorn at Flatiron Books for an advanced copy of American Dirt. This book put a face to all the migrants that we hear about in the news everyday. I believe if you read this book (and you should) that your perspective will change. Especially if you believe what our current president is saying about these people. You will walk away feeling sympathetic to their situation and have better understanding as to why so many are trying to find a better life in el Norte, the United ...more
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    Reccomendations 1 2 Jan 15, 2020 08:03AM  
    Goodreads Librari...: Combine Editions - "American Dirt" by Jeanine Cummins 2 17 Nov 16, 2019 02:56AM  
    Jeanine Cummins is the author of four books: the bestselling memoir A Rip in Heaven, and the novels The Outside Boy, The Crooked Branch, and American Dirt. She lives in New York with her husband and two children.

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    “What love had been there was already slipping away. She could still sense it like a ghost in the room, vague and inanimate, but she could no longer feel it. Her affection had gone, leached out, like blood from a cadaver. When he squeezed her fingers, she caught the scent of formaldehyde. When he hooked his sad gaze into hers, she saw the glass of his lenses, spattered with blood.” 0 likes
    “If there's one good thing about terror, Lydia now understands, it's that it's more immediate than grief. She knows that she will soon have to contend with what's happened, but for now, the possibility of what might happen still serves to anesthetize her from the worst of the anguish.” 0 likes
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