March Book Club Pick: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

This month’s book club pick is a little bit different but a must-read nonetheless. American Dirt is a heartbreaking tale of a mother and her eight-year-old son on the run from Mexico to the United States, having escaped an attack by one of the most dangerous Mexican drug cartels. Unputdownable, if you read anything this year then it needs to be this book! 

Jeanine Cummins

Jeanine Cummins is an American author of three books: The Outside Boy, The Crooked Branch and one memoir, A Rip in Heaven. 

Jeanine was born in Spain whilst her father was stationed there as a member of the US Navy and then moved back to America with her family where she grew up and studied. Jeanine worked in publishing for 10 years before becoming a full-time author and spent four years writing American Dirt before publishing earlier this year in 2020. She’s drawn on family and past experiences for inspiration. 

American Dirt 

Released at the beginning of this year, American Dirt has quickly become a favourite read amongst many, named The Sunday Times and New York Times Bestseller. Jeanine has crafted a masterful plotline that is full of unpredictable twists and turns.

The story follows Lydia and her eight-year-old son Luca who are on the run from a drug cartel hoping to find safety in the United States. Suddenly forced to flee their home they have no plan and very little with them but they do know one thing… they must make it to el Norte without being found. 

Lydia and Luca endure some god awful things on their journey towards freedom. They walk miles and miles, leap onto high-speed moving trains (la Bestia), have to ration food and water and protect each other and their friends from the dangers of being migrants on the run. 

The story is one of heartbreak and love, of terror and relief. There’s only one way they will make it – by focusing on the task at hand and not sparing time to reflect on what they’ve lost.

I strive to write page-turners because I love to read them, and it’s been a long time since I turned pages as fast as I did with American Dirt.

John Grisham

This story covers a lot of ground and provides an important voice on the discussion around immigration. When you read content like this it really puts things into perspective.

As always leave a comment below if you’re planning to read along and let me know your thoughts! I will be doing another Instagram Chat at the end of March to discuss so keep an eye on my page for updates.


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