American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club) - Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club) Summary

Written By Jeanine Cummins

Readers Score: 4/5
Rated by 3,327 Readers

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club) Book Summary


#1 New York Times Bestseller

Stephen King

“This book is not simply the great American novel; it’s the great novel of las Americas. It’s the great world novel! This is the international story of our times. Masterful.”
—Sandra Cisneros

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 beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times.

Already being hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times" and "a new American classic," Jeanine Cummins's American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

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About the book:

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club) is a Fiction & Literature book, written By Jeanine Cummins. As a testament to the Book's popularity, it has gathered a rating of 4 out of a possible 5 Stars, on Reviews by 3,327 Readers who strongly recommends this book.

You can get the book for $14.99 on Amazon or on Apple iBooks for similar price


Best Video Summaries of American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club) By Jeanine Cummins

Would this be the next book you read? See What Top Readers Think!

  • I found this story very moving

    By Suzieqarlington
    It’s a novel first and foremost, so people’s criticism that it wasn’t written by someone from Mexico doesn’t make sense to me. I found the story and the characters compelling and I struggled with them as they made their horrific journey.
  • DH

    By Wondering1-:?
    I don’t get all the negative reviews. While I’m sure the author makes mistakes in her portrayal of Latin people, she puts a serious topic in the front burner. It’s easy as Americans to ignore what Trump has done to immigrants on the border. After you read this book it’s a lot harder to ignore the plight of Latin people escaping oppressive situations. Look for the good this book does...not sure where the bad is.
  • Problematic at best, literary diarrhea at worst.

    By NathanFat
    “American Dirt” is the classic tale of a Mexican woman who witnesses the cartel execution of her family, as is common apparently, and proceeds to Google how to be Mexican all while describing how seeing dead people in the streets is just as common as stray dogs. It’s not enough that the author claims the book speaks on behalf of undocumented people, but that she got the most basic of things wrong. Our main character is somehow surprised by the beauty of the Mexican landscapes and buildings, and then calls the gorgeous color palettes “cartoonish”. Go to Guanajuato or Tepotzotlán and tell me with a straight face the city’s colors are cartoonish. Our character then proceeds to be shocked and delighted by the Mexicans she comes across in her journey, and by this point it’s been established that there’s simply no way this character is Mexican or even from Mexico, or that the place she’s living in is in no way really Mexico. It’s a trope of Mexico, it’s a stereotype. Jeanine Cummins’ trip to the border for her “research” only solidified her idea of what she thinks Mexico is, and then proceeded to write a story she acknowledged she had no place in writing, but decided to anyway. After amassing a 7-figure upfront pay from her publisher, lying about threats that her publisher had now said were non-existent, cancelling her book tour as a PR ploy, and then almost immediately selling the film rights for an undisclosed amount, Jeanine Cummins has sold neo-Liberal white people on the same trope the latest Rambo flick espouses: Mexico is a sepia-toned cartel infested hell hole that needs saving by white people. Flatiron could have published such works by notable authors like Valeria Luiselli or Marcello Hernandez Castillo, but instead decided on the white granddaughter of a Puerto Rican. We know the grandmother is Puerto Rican because until recently Jeanine Cummins had gone on record to say she is, in fact, a white woman, but then to push the sale of her toilet paper she says is a book suddenly the lady has a token ethnic person in her family and magically identifies as “Latinx”. And the publisher hid the fact that they’re also publishing Oprah’s memoir, so now it’s just a full blown plot of a white woman writing a mediocre tale for an audience who will continue to view Mexico as a stereotypical nation needing saving by the white faux-woke saviors of America, published by a house working closely with Oprah who then placed it on her “prestigious” bookclub, and amassed so much cash for an undeserving novel. The author, in her own words, said that she is not an authority on the topic but decided that she was to be the voice of the voiceless all while drumming up the tired and racist dialogue of Donald Trump but in a neat package for her painfully white readers to digest. American Dirt is irresponsible and only further disenfranchises writers of color in an industry sorely lacking in equality and justice. In summary, “American Dirt” is the literary equivalent of that white couple at a Trump rally holding signs that read “BLACKS FOR TRUMP”.


  • Read it

    By Alca16Read
    Great read. I could not put this book down. I was always worried about Lydia and Lucas’ next move. And If your going to worry about cultural appropriation then don’t read this book cause we don’t want to hear you whine about it and talk trash. There is a reason why this book falls in the fiction category.
  • Great book!

    By Singersongwritter
    None stop exciting, riveting and heart pounding story. Compelling and heart wrenching as you share the destitution of a migrants life and journey.
  • American Dirt

    By Gertrudis Gomez
    A story created “a la Hollywood”, with a political agenda. It downplays the serious problem with illegal immigration.
  • Culturally insensitive garbage

    By eendres16
    That’s it. That’s the review.
  • Great book

    By Emi+nem
    Good read.
  • Lydia!

    By Engish Teacher
    This is a NOVEL and keep that in mind! The criticism of any Mexican/Latino realism is unnecessary because this is one of the best books I’ve read in years. Yes it’s about fictional characters in a very real world. Beautifully written prose and kept me up reading til 3 am for a few nights til I was sure Lydia and Luca would escape the horrors of the opening shower stall horror. Read this book!
  • American Dirt

    By avomaria
    Ms Cummins story was not hers to tell. I found it most annoying that while appropriating someone’s else’s culture , she also peppered the book with Spanish words and phrases. The characters were primarily Mexican and Central American. The narrative was in English yet every now and then an italicized word or phrase would appear. Why? To remind us they were Spanish speakers? Finished reading it solely for my book club discussion. Not worth $15.99!

    By AmyCat=^.^=
    Stereotypes and a storyline that makes a cheap soap opera seem credible by comparison, written by a woman “brown-washing” her mainstream-white background and claiming familiarity with the “immigrant experience” of Latinx people due to her “immigrant” husband... who’s from Ireland. It’s shameful that the publisher, and Oprah, gave such publicity and promotion to this phony when there are authentic Latinx authors writing authentic novels and not getting published.
  • Great

    By austinharmony
    Loved this book