American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Someone asked me the other day why I only seem to give high scores for books. Well, the answer to that is twofold:

  1. I only review books that I finish.
  2. If I’m not enjoying a book, I won’t finish it.

And treading water somewhere in there we have books that I didn’t enjoy so much, but. for some reason, were too compelling to put down.

Which brings me to American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, a book that seems to have taken me the best part of two months to finish.

Okay, so let’s start with the good, the excellent in fact. This is a great story: Lydia and her young son, Luca, are trying to flee Mexico after their entire family is murdered at a family gathering. Their desperate two-thousand mile trek by train and on foot takes them through a serious of heart-stopping encounters with the very best and worst of humanity. The characterisations are suburb, the tension almost unbearable, and if you’re wondering why anyone would put themselves and their children at risk (being robbed is the inevitable; being murdered, raped, kidnapped or sold into slavery are highly likely) to enter a foreign country, then here’s a clue: it isn’t money.

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