Whew! American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins is not for the faint of heart. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like for migrants coming from Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico…look no further. Immigrants do the work Americans find too low paying, demeaning or difficult, but what you don’t know is that washing dishes, cooking, landscaping and all those other labor intensive jobs are a cakewalk compared to what they went through to get here.
American Dirt is the story of Lydia and her brilliant 8 year old son, Luca. They must get out of South and Central America for reasons I won’t ruin for you. Know that you will care about these characters, and that what they experience is the reality for many. Their travels will keep you on the edge of your seat, because survival against the elements, cartels, and border patrol is unlikely.
This story is really a testament to saying goodbye, grief, and to new horizons. What I liked most was the insight Cummins gives to each character, how they process their emotions and trauma through impossible situations.
I’d heard rumblings about people and critics disliking American Dirt… none of which I read. Given the political climate, any book about crossing the border into the United States would be controversial. I highly recommend you give this a chance regardless of what anyone says. Go into it knowing nothing, and out of it rewarded with the knowledge that those who seek to be near us have good reason to.
Dream Cast 🎥 🍿
Lydia: Eiza González
Javier: Benicio del Toro
Sebastian: Michael Peña
The Jackal: Pedro Pascal
Marisol: Adriana Barraza
Lorenzo: Diego Tinoco