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“These people would leave their homes, their cultures, their families, even the…

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📖 “These people would leave their homes, their cultures, their families, even their languages, and venture into tremendous peril, risking their very lives, all for the chance to get to the dream of some faraway country that doesn’t even want them.”

🚂 We have been hunting American Dirt for a while. After hope was almost lost, it was there – in one of the charity shops in sunny (not that much sun on the day) Brighton! Lately, we drew our attention to books, discussing real-world issues. American Dirt seemed to be a perfect example of it, and we were not aware of the controversy surrounding it before picked it up.

🚂 The book opens with mass murder in Acapulco, Mexico. Sixteen people killed – two survive—Lydia and her son Luca. From there, it focuses on a mother and son trying everything in their power to immigrate to the United States and at the same time, stay hidden from a far-reaching cartel that wants them both dead.

🚂 The book deals with a serious topic and a lot of scenes could be quite gruesome. Violence, sexual assault, murder, theft – issues people escaping from central and south America face on every day. The author manages to translate real emotions, and sometimes you feel freight train gushing past you with hundreds of people on top of it going towards unknown.

🚂 However, at some points book seem to lose touch with authenticity and feels more like a thriller. We both agreed on the point that as you are reading the book, you can hardly imagine Lydia as the poor Mexican girl and her child escaping the country. Sometimes they feel too “western”, and you subconsciously think about Lydia as a white, American woman riding the roof of the train. And as far as we understood – this is the issue that a lot of people are having with this book.

🚂 Would we recommend it? Definitely yes. Our only suggestion while reading it – take everything with a little pinch of salt as the author may have overdone a few parts.

QOTD: If you had to escape the country, how would you do it?

4 train carriages out of five from both of us.

REVIEW BY 🧔&👩🏻‍🦰

7 thoughts on ““These people would leave their homes, their cultures, their families, even the…

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  2. This has been on my list for a while too! If you like this sort of thing then try Tequila Sunset. It’s old but a similar theme.

  3. Books to read instead of American Dirt: Where We Come From by Oscar Casares. Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli. In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero.

  4. I gave up near the end as the authenticity was gone in my opinion, and I was feeling weirded out hearing a very white voice tell this story.

  5. A really interesting review thanks as I keep seeing this book recommended ❤️

  6. You hit the nail on the head about Lydia seeming American rather than Mexican

  7. I read this in the thick of pro democracy, anti extradition, anti police violence protests in Hong Kong.

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