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American Dirt
American Dirt
Author: Jeanine Cummins
También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams. — Lydia Quixano Pérez 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 b...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781250209764
ISBN-10: 1250209765
Publication Date: 1/21/2020
Pages: 400
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 36 ratings
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 231
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

icantswim avatar reviewed American Dirt on + 62 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
What. Is. This??

This book is controversial. I wanted to read it, to see for myself, to form my own opinion. The controversy behind this book is valid. If "eyes were opened" after reading this, as some reviewers on booksellers' websites have said, then those readers have not been paying proper attention to the world. For this book is so poor that if it is the one to open eyes, then help us please.

This book also does not depict a realistic story. I do not think a story of a well-to-do person on the run is the story that needs to be told. Perhaps the author thought that the only way to gain understanding of migrants by a middle-class US readership was to create a character that closely mirrors her readership. But she was wrong. As a middle-class US reader, all she did was make me mad. I do not want this underdeveloped soap opera of a book to help me better understand cultures and circumstances different from my own.

I am not advocating for illegal immigration. No. I am advocating for a book that better explores the human condition and better educates me on the lived experiences of others.

I had higher expectations of this one, given all the publicity, but it failed. I am sorely disappointed that I bought this book.

I much preferred Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions.
reviewed American Dirt on + 380 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Please be aware before you order or buy this book that it has been fiercely criticized by many American Latino authors and critics for harmful stereotypes of Mexicans, for having taken some scenes from other authors and for having received a huge publishers' advance when Latino authors who have more authentic stories grounded in their own experiences and observations struggle to feed themselves. Yes, it may be an exciting story but completely from the American white person's point of view. Personally, I found it inferior to the Mexican-produced telenovelas I sometimes watch.
debbiemd avatar reviewed American Dirt on
Helpful Score: 1
This was an excellent book. Well written story of a woman and her son who have lost everything else to the drug cartel in Mexico making the crossing on La Bestia and with a coyote into the US to become illegal immigrants. It is loss and grief and love and hope. There was so much controversy about this book when it was published earlier this year by Latin Americans claiming that a Caucasian author could not write their experience but, albeit from the perspective of another Caucasian female, I thought this was a beautifully written book. Good story with great characters.
bvaughnfamily avatar reviewed American Dirt on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I just finished reading this.
I had a very hard time putting it down to go to sleep last night, but had to get some sleep because I had to work in the morning.
I was able to take it to work and finish in my down time.
It's one of those compelling stories that troubles you until it's resolved.
It definitely challenged my notions about family, trauma, good Samaritans, friendship, immigration - legal and otherwise, sacrifice, journalism, corruption...
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reviewed American Dirt on + 211 more book reviews
Couldn't finish this one. Didn't care for storyline, definitely didn't care for writing style. Wanted to read it because of all the buzz about 'white American' writing about the plight of illegal immigrants. It certainly doesn't portray the immigrants we see coming over our borders on a daily basis. Most of them don't have thousands of pesos tucked in their bags, nor friends and contacts to help them along the way. And the whole convoluted emotional affair she has with cartel leader....please!

I just wasn't interested in seeing what happened. Too many other great books to read.

Best sentence: No quiet slashing of ink on paper can resuscitate her dead mother, her husband.
reviewed American Dirt on
Loved this book!!!
pj-s-bookcorner avatar reviewed American Dirt on + 628 more book reviews
I wasn't sure about this when I started and I will say it is not an easy read, but it wasn't intended to be. Lydia is a bookstore owner, married to Sebastian - a newspaper reporter, mother of Luca - 8 YO. When she discovers that a customer she has become friends with is the subject of her husband's ongoing investigation into drug cartels, her world changes forever. With the murder of sixteen of her family at one time, life becomes a series of nightmares and tragedies. Their flight to freedom is eye opening, heartbreaking, and inspirational.

Book Wiki

Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
Lydia (Primary Character)
Luca (Major Character)
Rebecca (Average Character)
Solidad (Average Character)


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