American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
I knew about the South American immigrants risking all to reach “El Norte”, The United States of America, the land of work, opportunity and safety.
I knew about the “wall” separating Mexico from America, mainly from the American perspective – roaming border patrols, innocents shot down or captured & held in detention awaiting deportation. Thousands of poor souls hoping to be let through, countless lost along the way. I knew nothing about their journey.
American Dirt is the story of Lydia and her young son Luca’s escape from Acapulco, Mexico. Running for their lives from the notorious drug cartel Los Jardineros, no time to organize, the only plan to head north to America leaving all they know behind, all the time knowing a bounty is on their heads. The reader takes the journey with them, at times absolutely terrifying, at times soul destroying, but always with the knowledge that Lydia intends to survive, all she has left is Luca. She moves forward because of her love for him; she cannot let her spirit be broken. “Don’t think, don’t think, don’t think”.
An absorbing and sobering read, it's hard to believe but this happens to real people. I won’t forget this story.