Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tierra americana” as Want to Read:
Tierra americana
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tierra americana

4.72  ·  Rating details ·  785 ratings  ·  373 reviews
Already being hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times" and "a new American classic," 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
Paperback, 464 pages
Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by Vintage Espanol
More Details... Edit Details

Win a Copy of This Book

  • American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
    American Dirt
    Release date: Jan 21, 2020
    Enter for a chance to win an ARC of the most anticipated book of 2020!

    “I defy anyone to read the first seven pages of this book and not finish it.”

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 100 copies available, 6048 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Dec 03 - Dec 18, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

  • Friend Reviews

    To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    Reader Q&A

    To ask other readers questions about Tierra americana, please sign up.
    Popular Answered Questions
    Flatiron Books We will have giveaways posted soon!…moreWe will have giveaways posted soon! (less)
    Fran Burdsall No, not really since most of the swearing is in Spanish! But there is violence - a lot of violence and the tension is palpable as this fearful journey…moreNo, not really since most of the swearing is in Spanish! But there is violence - a lot of violence and the tension is palpable as this fearful journey progresses. (less)
    This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 4.72  · 
    Rating details
     ·  785 ratings  ·  373 reviews

    More filters
    Sort order
    Start your review of Tierra americana
    Nilufer Ozmekik
    Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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  ·  review of another edition
    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.


    Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Anne Bogel
    Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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.
    Chelsea Humphrey
    Simply incredible. A must read in the new year. Full review to come!
    Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Liz Barnsley
    Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Terry Mitchell
    Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    If you read nothing else in 2020, let it be American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. It is a must-read! Lydia and her son Luca are at a relative's quinceneara (birthday party for a 15 year old) when a cartel shoots and kills the other 16 members of their family present. Lydia and Luca survive by hiding in a shower. Lydia is acquainted with the leader of this cartel; she knows she and her son were also supposed to die today. What follows in the wake of this horrific event is Lydia and Luca's ...more
    Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley, 2019
    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
    Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Stacey A.  Prose and Palate
    There is no way that you will read this book and not be changed by it. Full review to come but easily one of the most thought provoking and stunning stories I have ever read. People will be talking about this work for years to come.
    Tom Mooney
    Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Jennifer Blankfein
    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.
    Cathy Branciforte
    Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    I would give this book 10 stars if I could! This is an amazing story about the journey of a mother and son to America after their entire family is murdered in Mexico. I won’t even try to describe the book because I could never do it justice, all I can say is everyone should read this. It is beautifully written and easily the best book I’ve read this year!
    Thank you to Flatiron Books and Netgalley for the advance digital review copy!
    Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: favorites
    It took me a while to figure out how to write a review that would do this novel justice. This is single-handily one of the most important novels I have ever read in my long-reading life. The humanity grabs you by the throat and by the heart and does not let go. It is harrowing with the danger that the characters deal with and moving with the love that is so obvious between them; whether mother and son or strangers picked up along this desperate journey. This book is obviously prescient with the ...more
    Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Just extraordinary. An absolutely vital read for these times.
    Molly Riportella
    Jeanine Cumming's sophomore book, American Dirt, is an emotional literary thriller that contests the far-right's misrepresentation of the border crisis by chronicling the migration of a mother and her young son.

    American Dirt opens in media res with three members of an Acapulco cartel opening fire at a large family party while seven-year-old Luca is using the bathroom. Luca and his mother, Lydia escape the carnage by hiding in a shower, though the news of their survival reaches El Jefe once the
    Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Thank you Amy Einhorn and Flatiron Books for gifting this advance copy at our Booktopia session. This is a must read for all, especially in our current political time. Jeanine Cummins tells us the story of a mother and son fleeing from their home, from their country into a journey for their life. I felt I was running, hiding, thirsty and hungry right along the characters. Each person you meet on this life and death journey you will never, ever forget. My stomach was in knots hoping our ...more
    Katie Katieneedsabiggerbookshelf
    American Dirt is the story of Lydia and her son Luca and the struggles they face that force them to leave their home and migrate to the United States. It is their journey, their hardships, the beautiful people they meet along the way, and the ugliest of people they meet along the way. I’m not going to dive any further into the synopsis, because I truly believe you should go in blind.

    Ok, you all know it’s rare for me to give 5 stars. What’s even rarer, is to read the first few pages of a novel
    Lisa Jablonsky
    Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Wow. The hype is real. Put this on your WTR now. This book will be the most important book in 2020; it is a must read.

    On the news we're always hearing about the dangerous caravan of rapists and murderers trying to get in from Mexico. This book tells the story of Lydia, she could be you or me. She's running from the violence of a cartel directed at her family and her only way to escape is to join the migrants, at incredible risk to her and her young son. It is such a dangerous journey but not as
    Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Giving this book 5 stars as it’s not possible to give it 10. Absolutely destroyed by the last 1/4. Terrifying, propulsive text that moves seamlessly through voice and time. The Don Winslow quote about how this is the “Grapes of Wrath for our times” is apt, but for me I couldn’t stop thinking about (my favourite book of all time) The Road. Knowing that, unlike The Road, American Dirt does not involve a post-apocalyptic future, but speaks to the devastating reality so many migrants face today was ...more
    Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: adult-reads
    A literary epic story of one Mother’s will for her and her young son’s survival amidst the complete collapse of the world around her that propels her to seek literal refuge on American Dirt. Moving and heart-wrenching tale. The prose is accessible and beautiful (even amidst all the brutality and depravity that it covers). A truly human story that is the next great American novel.
    Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Donna Staub, Lisa Padilla
    This book is a compelling, rewarding read. Harrowing as well as heart-warming, the story pulled me in all weekend, until the very last page. It's also rich with food for thought and discussion. I am so impressed by the skill and talent of Jeanine Cummins. I will look for everything by her, but what could be as good as this?
    Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: arc
    This one blew me right out of the water. From page one, I was completely engrossed. Worth every ounce of pre-publication hype it’s getting.
    Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Book Review: American Dirt
    By: @jeaninecummins .
    Genre: Contemporary Fiction
    Format: Physical Book (ARC release date: 1/21/2020)

    Lydia lives a great life in Mexico. She runs a bookstore, has a great husband with a steady job as a journalist, and a beautiful son named Luca. Then everything changes when Lydia and Luca go on the run from a drug cartel. With little money and few supports, Lydia has to make decisions no mother could ever dream of making... what will Lydia do to keep herself and her son
    Rick Buttafogo
    Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This book. No words. So timely. Immigration is a hot topic for many however it is my hope that whatever side you’re on, this book finds its way into your hands. Perhaps you will learn something and maybe not. In the end, for me at least, it’s not about borders, immigrants, undocumented people etc. It’s about being human. This is a heart-breaking novel, but that’s ok because when one sheds a tear, it confirms that are human. Note: please read the authors note at the end. Incredibly eye ...more
    « previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
    topics  posts  views  last activity   
    Goodreads Librari...: Combine Editions - "American Dirt" by Jeanine Cummins 2 7 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.

    Readers also enjoyed

    • A Good Neighborhood
    • My Dark Vanessa
    • Saint X
    • Long Bright River
    • Such a Fun Age
    • Dear Edward
    • The Glass Hotel
    • Nothing to See Here
    • Oona Out of Order: A Novel
    • Darling Rose Gold
    • Big Lies in a Small Town
    • Valentine: A Novel
    • Mr. Nobody
    • Weather
    • Eight Perfect Murders
    • In Five Years
    • The God Game
    • The Holdout
    See similar books…
    No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
    “She slams the trunk, walks back to the front seat to select one of his notebooks, not yet allowing herself to consider the reason she does this—to retain a personal record of his extinct handwriting.” 0 likes
    “That night they left the tooth beneath his pillow and El Ratoncito Pérez came to retrieve it, leaving Luca a poem and a new toothbrush in its place.” 0 likes
    More quotes…