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American Dirt

by Jeanine Cummins

Political Thrillers Star Books Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on American Dirt

When a book grabs you from the first page with bullets shooting past a young eight year old boy, you know this is going to be one gripping read. Lydia is married to an investigative journalist trying to save Acapulco and expose the cartels who are destabilising their beloved home city. After a particular article exposes the main boss of the Los Jardineros cartel "La Lechuza", sixteen of Lydia's family are gunned down at a family get-together. She loses almost everyone she loves - with only her 8 year old son left.

This story is of Luca and his Mami - on the run and their journey to escape the cartel that smashed their lives into smithereens. My heart was in my mouth and many times during the course of the book, I realised I was holding my breath in horror at the death and suffering.

I felt their pain, the ragged wounds and was with the characters every step of the way willing them on, from Acapulco to the horror that is “La Bestia”, the beast, the death train, a network of Mexican fright trains that are utilised by US-bound migrants to traverse the length of Mexico, and into el Norte.

The sensible bookstore owning wife morphs into a filthy, penniless, machete-carrying Lydia who is forced to put her grief on hold and transform to keep them alive. Her strength pounds off the page as they become migrants trying to escape to the US and she puts as many miles as possible between the scene of the massacre and her beloved Luca.

This gripping and powerful story of a woman's love for her son, is an absolute page-turner I couldn't put down. It's an emotional rollercoaster of 53 days across 2645 miles of hell and an absolute triumph. 

Deborah Maclaren

American Dirt Synopsis

American Dirt is the first novel to explore the experience of attempting to illegally cross the US-Mexico border, a journey which thousands of migrants make each year.

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.

Vivid, visceral, utterly compelling, American Dirt is both a page turner and a literary achievement: a novel that will leave you utterly changed.

American Dirt Press Reviews

Devastating and timely... heartwrenching' - Observer

Both a moral compass and a riveting read Riveting, timely, a dazzling accomplishment. Jeanine Cummins makes us all live and breathe the refugee story. If a book can change hearts and transform policies, this is the one Urgent and unforgettable, AMERICAN DIRT leaps the borders of the page and demands attention, especially now From the opening page your heart will be in your mouth You will never want to put this story down, Jeanine Cummins has written a novel of such moment, such danger and such compassion, it will change your view of the world From its heart-stopping first sentence to its heart-shattering last, Cummins' story of immigrants is just what we need now I devoured the novel in a dry-eyed adrenalin rush... profoundly moving - Washington Post

It's been a long time since I turned pages as fast as I did with American Dirt. Its journey is a testament to the power of fear and hope and belief that there are more good people than bad. AMERICAN DIRT transported me through genuine fear and had me willing on every human being struggling to get to a better life. Written with masterly restraint, it is a roaring human triumph One hell of a novel about a good woman on the run with her beautiful boy... I defy anyone to read the first seven pages of this book and not finish it Taut, tough, visceral, savage and exhilaratingly written - i-Paper

This might be the first book many people read this year... it might also be the best - Irish Times

Stunning... remarkable... an account of love on the run that will never lose steam - Vogue

Heartstopping... doesn't let up... you will urge them on, fists clenched - The Times

This book is not simply the great American novel; it's the great novel of las Americas. It's the great world novel! This is the international story of our times. Masterful -- Sandra Cisneros

Devastating and timely... its hard to imagine there will be a more urgent or politically relevant novel this year - Observer

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781472261403
Publication date: 18/02/2021
Publisher: Tinder Press an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781472261397
Publication date: 21/01/2020
Publisher: Tinder Press an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781472261397
Publication date: 21st January 2020
Author: Jeanine Cummins
Publisher: Tinder Press an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 480 pages
Genres: Political Thrillers, Star Books, Thriller / Suspense,
Collections: Our Favourite Books of 2020,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Political / legal thriller,

About Jeanine Cummins

Jeanine Cummins is the author of three books: the novels The Outside Boy and The Crooked Branch and one true crime work, A Rip in Heaven. She lives in New York with her husband and two children.

More About Jeanine Cummins

More Books By Jeanine Cummins

Cover for American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Cover for A Rip in Heaven by Jeanine Cummins
Cover for The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins
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