Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

American Dirt

Jeanine Cummins



In stock
Ready to ship


Tinder Press
01 February 2020
Fiction & Literature; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945); Political & legal thriller
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This novel comes at you from the opening sentence and you're hooked. A mother and son miraculously survive an assassination massacre at a family occasion. From page one they are in a rush to put as much distance as they can in a short time, between them and the cartel that destroyed their lives and those they love. But they are normal people like you, the reader. They are not part of the criminal underworld. What do you do next? Where do you go? For this Mexican bookshop owner, the sanctuary of the US beckons as a place beyond the cartel's reach and they become reluctant migrants as the book follows their passage of escape. Cummins renders the tenor of emotions brilliantly - the devastation, abject fear, instinct, confusion and dehumanisation. 'We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come' echoes as a callous boast over their reality. Craig Kirchner


'Where will we go, Mami?' 'I don't know, mijo' she says. 'We'll see. We'll have an adventure.' The afternoon of her niece's fifteenth birthday party, all Lydia's worst nightmares come true. As she and her son Luca cower in a bathroom shower stall, the rest of her family is gunned down by members of Acapulco's most notorious drug cartel, to make an example of her journalist husband. Lydia's survival instincts kick in immediately, and before the bodies of her family have cooled on the patio, she and Luca are fleeing for their lives.

Such is the reach of the cartels, with roadblocks on every highway and the police in their pay, that Lydia quickly realises two things: that they must cross the US/Mexico border as quickly as possible, and that they cannot risk travelling by road. For Lydia and Luca, the most dangerous route is the only route - riding illegally atop the freight trains, known as la bestia, hidden amongst the thousands of migrants who will risk everything in the desperate hope of a new start in the United States.

AMERICAN DIRT is the most heart-stopping story of a mother and son on the run - a novel that brings an unforgettably human face to the story of the Mexico/US Border.

'I couldn't put it down. I'll never stop thinking about it' Ann Patchett

By:   Jeanine Cummins
Imprint:   Tinder Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 36mm
Weight:   568g
ISBN:   9781472261410
ISBN 10:   1472261410
Pages:   480
Publication Date:   01 February 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jeanine Cummins is the author of three books: the novels THE OUTSIDE BOY and THE CROOKED BRANCH, and one true crime work, A RIP IN HEAVEN. She lives in New York with her husband and two children.

Reviews for American Dirt

So viscerally real and so elegantly written. From the very first page, you know it's just essential reading -- Kate Leaver At once intimate and epic, AMERICAN DIRT is an exhilarating and beautiful book about parental love and human hope -- Rumaan Alam Riveting, timely, a dazzling accomplishment. Jeanine Cummins makes us all live and breathe the refugee story. If a book can change hearts and transform policies, this is the one -- Julia Alvarez Urgent and unforgettable, AMERICAN DIRT leaps the borders of the page and demands attention, especially now -- Sarah Blake From its heart-stopping first sentence to its heart-shattering last, Cummins' story of immigrants is just what we need now -- Don Winslow Tough, powerful... AMERICAN DIRT made me understand better why someone would give up the home they know and love to survive, and the grit required to cross that border -- Tracy Chevalier It's been a long time since I turned pages as fast as I did with American Dirt. Its journey is a testament to the power of fear and hope and belief that there are more good people than bad. -- John Grisham One hell of a novel about a good woman on the run with her beautiful boy... I defy anyone to read the first seven pages of this book and not finish it -- Stephen King

See Also