American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Published February 29, 2020

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Book info

  • Title American Dirt
  • Author Jeanine Cummins
  • Year 2020
  • Genre Contemporary

Yesterday, Lydia had a bookshop. Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist. Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved most in the world. Today, her eight-year-old son Luca is all she has left. For him, she will carry a machete strapped to her leg. For him, she will leap onto the roof of a high speed train. For him, she will find the strength to keep running.


Another of Oprah’s Book Club picks, this was an incredible read. The story follows a mother and son from the moment of an horrific family tragedy in Mexico through their desperate attempts to flee the country and find their way into the United States. It provides a deep and moving portrayal of how quickly things can change for a seemingly settled and untroubled family and how horrifying the journey is when you are just trying to look for safety.

I already knew I was in a privileged position but this book opened my eyes even further to some of the things people are trying to escape from and some of the awful things that go down along the way. I just can’t recommend it enough to everyone to read and gain just a little bit more empathy – even if you already think you have enough.

It’s well written with gorgeous characters and paragraphs that suck you into their deepest emotions and plunge you into the grips of the fear they’re feeling or the confusion of the unknown. It’s incredible.


This is a cycle, she thinks. Every day a fresh horror, and when it’s over, this feeling of surreal detachment. A disbelief, almost, in what they just endured. The mind is magical. Human beings are magical.

Rating: 5 / 5

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