American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins kept popping up in my recommended books list, and I finally decided to dig in! I’m happy that I did as this is a book I won’t soon forget.
Lydia owns a book store and becomes close friends with her customer Javier, before discovering that he is head of a fierce cartel responsible for multiple murders in their area. After Lydia’s reporter husband writes a feature article about Javier, everything goes horrifically wrong.
Lydia and her son Luca are the only survivors when their entire family is gunned down during a party. Now they are desperately trying to outrun the cartel and certain death. We join them throughout their journey as they jump La Bestia, riding trains to take them from their starting point in Acapulco to their destination: the U.S. They meet two sisters during their travels, Soledad and Rebeca, who are also escaping terrible violence. They join forces through the many obstacles before them.
Their journey is full of indescribable sadness, danger and horror, but there is also friendship and unexpected kindness. Every decision is potentially life or death and every person’s strength and determination keeps them moving toward a new start. This is an amazing read for both plot and its writing!