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American Dirt

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,857 ratings  ·  846 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
Published January 21st 2020 by Flatiron Books
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Average rating 4.55  · 
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 ·  1,857 ratings  ·  846 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.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
An appropriating, inaccurate, trauma-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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Nicky Nicholson-Klingerman
Dec 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
horribly racist book abt mexico written by a white lady. sooooooooooooooooo tired of yts pretending like they understand. stop telling our stories through your horribly racist oppressive lenses. please read a real review:
Jan 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
I wish I could give this book negative stars because it is, as its title attests, dirt.

It is also profoundly racist.

Here is my essay about the dissent surrounding this book, dissent that is being erased, disappeared and silenced:
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
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
American Dirt is the harrowing story of a mother and child fleeing Mexico after 16 members of their family have been slaughtered. From the very first page it grabs the reader with its intensity. You can't help but be moved, to be enthralled. I found myself so beholden to Lydia and Lucas that I was praying for them along their journey as if they were real people. And I guess that they are. They represent the people who are fleeing war, persecution and untold atrocities.

I have seen the campaign on
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
Never Without a Book
Sigh I have thoughts and it’s stressing me and conflicting. Ugh!

First off let me say, this is one of the hardest books I had to review, because my feelings in the end were conflicting, so I had to handle this with care.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins is gripping, dramatic, and intense. Opening with the murder of 16 people at a family gathering in Acapulco, Mexico, the only survivors are Lydia, a young mother and her eight year-old son, Luca. This massacre was orchestrated by local cartel, Los
Jamie beauty_andthebook_
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Poignant, relevant & powerful.

American Dirt is already one of the buzziest books of 2020 and it's still 2019! Looking into the lives of a mother and son whose entire family was slaughtered in cartel retaliation as they attempt to cross the border to "El Norte" is bound to be an emotional read, but Cummins brilliant writing adds another layer to this already gripping story.

If I had one complaint with this story, some parts could have been cut down a bit, but overall, this book was
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
***Goodreads Giveaway Win***

I need to update my review after getting educated by Myriam GurbaMyriam Gurba

After reading this article ( ) . I learned to look at it through a non-gringa point of view. Everything she said made me re-think my take on this book. Please read Myriam Gurba's review.

Here's Original Review:
This is going down as one of the best books I have ever read. I loved every single word, sentence, paragraph and chapter. Jeanine Cummins told
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
Dec 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
i didnt readthis book. i did read this review by myriam gurba. do yourself a favor and read her work and this scathing and hilarious review instead.
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Download PDF/ePub eBook American Dirt: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins 1 13 Jan 20, 2020 03:22AM  
Reccomendations 1 5 Jan 15, 2020 08:03AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Combine Editions - "American Dirt" by Jeanine Cummins 2 21 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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