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This is a quick-paced story with correlations to current events of migrants traveling to the United States from Mexico. Lydia's character is easy to relate to. I was taken in by her strength and courage as well as her quick-thinking for survival for her and her eight-year old son.
This is good book. The characters kept me turning the pages. Even though this is a work of fiction it is probably more than one persons true story, anyone who does not believe or understand what migrants go through to get to another country, why they make the choice to come to a better place, needs to read this book as though it were true. Thank you to the author for writing what needed to be written, I am looking forward to her next work.
Fast-paced and heartbreaking. The human instinct to survive despite all odds kept me turning pages.
Looks like I'm late to the party. Heard about the book today on The Five. A link to the Washington Post book reviewer informed me that the author had to cancel her book tour because of threats of violence against both herself and the book stores that would be asking her to speak at and sign her book. (I wonder if any bookstore has the courage to carry her book). This is the 'Cancel-Culture' of the American Left at work, threatening violence and bodily harm to anyone with an opposing view point. Even Dana Bash of CNN, who was someone I used to respect, was very critical of the book and the author, and said she could 'understand' the backlash, and that these hate groups, which is putting it mildly, have a right to be heard. Gee, Dana, really going out on a limb, aren't we?
A definite page turner from start to finish; Lydia and her son Luca are migrants hoping to escape the drug cartel in Acapulco and find a future norte, in the United States. The migrants face plenty of challenges on the path to freedom, for every peak there is an equally devastating valley as the quest for a fresh start pushes them forward.
Can’t put it down. Such an amazing book. Learned so many things from it while being entertained and kept on my toes all the way through my reading. Highly recommend.
There were two deciding factors in my decision to read this book. The first being all the static generated by the book, (who gets and who doesn’t get to tell a story), and the second being that knowing once a book’s enshrined in Oprah’s Book Club it’s relegated to Holy Writ. Sometimes the joy of reading can be corrupted by too many opinions. I read a lot of books. Some great, others not so much. I was riveted from start to finish with this book. My opinion...... Pick up a copy, read it and decide for yourself.
I know there is a lot of controversy around this novel and I am not going to address it in this review. From a story perspective it held my attention but I didn't think it was ground breaking, I had to suspend belief for parts of it (it is fiction, I can bring myself to do that). I think the 8 year old speaks way beyond his years which held me up on a few occasions. Overall I am not upset that I took the time to read it but I will not go out of my way recommending it to anyone.
I read American Dirt with my book group because I had an interest the controversy over it. Had to plow through the first half of the book as the characters and story line didn’t feel authentic. The second half of the book was a little more interesting; however, the writing style was lacking throughout. The story follows Lydia, an upper class Acapulco bookstore owner, who is married to a journalist. Lydia enters a close “literary friendship” with Javier who (much to her surprise) turns out to be the leader of a major cartel. When Lydia’s husband exposes Javier in an article he has written, Javier guns down her entire family (husband, mother, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces), leaving Lydia and her eight year old son, Luca, to flee Mexico to the US with basically nothing. It was worth it to watch Oprha’s facilitation of interviews with the author and a line-up of Latinix women. After reading American Dirt and all the fuss the publishing industry made over the book, it really made me wonder how they chose the next best read. It couldn’t be profit over art, could it?
Not only was this book an unforgettable story, it was a learning experience I am greatful for! Highly recommend.
Brutal, controversial, interesting, and somewhat compelling. I had issues with parts of the plot, and there were things I couldn't believe. For example, the boy Luca doesn't say any words until he is four, and then he speaks in complete sentences. Really? That's magical realism, perhaps. But this book is written as a true-to-life novel as far as I can tell. Lots of death and destruction. Rapes of young girls. Menace everywhere. I put it down for a bit, and then came back to it and finished the book, because what else am I going to do during the pandemic? So, that's the compelling part. I wanted to know what was going to happen even though I had not fully bought into the premise. It's interesting that the boy Luca, aged 9, is the hero and the spiritual center of the book. He does the right thing when the Mom is blinded by her love of Luca. She will do whatever she has to do to make sure that he lives, even if that means turning her back on other children that need her help. A mother's love is sometimes so intense that it warps the mother, even a good one.
Superb. A page turner from the very first page. It is unbelievable and heart-breaking. An important book to bring attention to the plight of migrants. A testament to the strength of human character and hope. Well done.
This book is well written. This journey of a mother and son is horrifying and sad. A worthwhile read to understand and have some insight into the what illegal immigrants go through when trying to get to America via Mexico.
A believable story about the challenges the American migrants (from Mexico and South America) are faced with through their need to reach freedom from those who reach into innocent families and kidnap, torture and kill in the name of the drug cartels. One cannot help but commiserate with these people. It is truly a book for these times and one that we cannot overlook.
Don't miss this book because of the controversy. American Dirt is a human story, no matter the storyteller. Readers seeking to make an emotional connection to the plight of migrants whose lives are in danger will gain insight and empathy in this important novel. It's the story of a woman and her child escaping from life-threatening violence in Acapulco. I believe the novel is powerful enough to encourage conversations about borders and humane treatment of immigrants. Fiction important enough to do this is fiction worth reading.
This is a dramatic story about a highly educated migrant mother's chaotic journey from Mexico to the USA with her prodigy wonder child in tow. This is an entertaining and entirely fictional tale based on the author's personal research rather than any direct experience with illegal immigration. It's a suspenseful read that should appeal to most thriller fans. If you're looking for a realistic depiction of the immigrant experience, you probably won't find it here. But if you're looking for a good story, this one delivers.
Very powerful-I'd recommend this to every adult, & would be great required reading for high school students
I wasn't aware of any controversy when I decided to read this book, but found out about it when I was almost finished with it. Remember, this book is FICTION.The author admits that she may not have gotten everything right in her Author's notes. But it does sound like she did quite a bit of research and has some personal experience with immigration. That said, I found this book to be beautifully written and authentic. In these times, it's good to be reminded of the strength in the human spirit.
Latino critics say "American Dirt″ contains stereotypes, incorrect regional slang, and cultural inaccuracies. I choose to honor the Latino protest against this book and will not read it. Kristi & Abby Tabby
Still in progress but very interesting to read. Remembering that this is a Novel (fiction) and Not based on any facts.
This Novel would make a great movie. It would appeal to all adult audiences. The book is a great story.to read.
I was partly drawn to read American Dirt because of all the bad press the author has gotten. I wanted to read for myself what the big deal is. I didn't find anything offensive in the story or by whom it is told.
Watching some YouTube videos of "La Bestia" and looking at the train's route on Google maps helped with visuals that really brought the story to life for me. It is a gripping page turner. At times melodramatic and overwritten, and at some points funny.
I thought of the optician's sign in 'The Great Gatsby' during one particular passage about a pair of glasses painted on a wall, though these glasses are an ominous sign, not the idea of God's eyes passing judgment, as in TGG.
Ultimately, American Dirt is a story of loss, heartache and of passing from one life to another, truly a journey.