Don Winslow calls American Dirt the Grapes of Wrath of our generation. He’s wrong. It’s better. It’s a masterpiece. If you don’t read this book when it comes out in January, you are missing out. You will never know Lydia, Luca, Soledad, and Rebecca. You will never know the people they meet along the way. You will never know their trials and tribulations to reach el norte. You will miss being enriched in a way that only spectacular books can do.
Lydia owns a book store in Acapulco, Mexico. Her husband, Sebastian, is a journalist. Lydia gets a new customer in her store, whom she immediately feels connected to when he picks out and buys books that she loves. Lydia doesn’t realize that he’s the head of a new, violent cartel making its home in Acapulco. When Sebastian writes an expose of Lydia’s new friend, Lydia and her eight-year-old son, Luca are the only survivors when the narcos massacre sixteen members of her family. She and Luca go on the run to try to get to the United States and safety. The book is the story of their odyssey.
This book is filled with tension. Will Javier find Lydia and Luca and kill them? Will Lydia and Luca and the sisters from El Salvador, Soledad and Rebeca, make it safely to the U.S.? Will they be robbed? Will they be killed? Will they be able to have any semblance of a normal life?
This book examines the reasons behind violence, migration, prejudice, love, and hatred. It is beautiful in its composition and lyrical in its writing. Jeanine Cummins has written a masterpiece. It will win every major book award next year and deservedly so.
Very rarely do I pick up a book and feel like I have been emotionally hammered and saddened and terrified and uplifted as much as I was with American Dirt. This book had a profound influence and everlasting influence on my life. I can’t say enough about it. I will recommend it for book club and I will tell every single person I come across to read it. I don’t think any person or reviewer has the words to to state how fantastic this book is. Read it.