A Little Gritty and a Little Pretty

definitely not a gardening book

Tuesday, I visited Hager's Books again. I ordered  my books from the website and I picked them up without browsing. After reading a mystery and a gardening memoir, I decided to read a work of realistic fiction.

American Dirt is the story of a middle-class bookstore owner in Acapulco whose extended family
are executed by a cartel after her journalist husband publishes an exposé of the cartel boss.
Leaving home with her young son, Lydia finds herself hunted by the cartel and forced to join migrantes from Central America and Mexico to attempt to travel to and cross the border into the UnitedStates.

When I chose American Dirt from the Hager website, I was unaware of the controversy around the novel. Jeanine Cummins is neither Mexican nor a migrant. American Dirt was the object of a bidding war, is an Oprah Book Club title and will be made into a movie (Netflix?). After having read Luis Alberto Urrea's Into the Beautiful North and The Hummingbird's Daughter, I found American Dirt
somehow unreal. Engrossing but not realistic. After finishing the novel, I looked at some reviews.

American Dirt is definitely not transformative but if you want to read a thriller set in the world of migrants, you will find it an engaging read.

a bit of light reading
In addition to my 4 books, I purchased some browsing magazines. I always like a bit of light reading for these times.

my new stack


  1. Thanks for the review. I've seen this book, but didn't know anything about it. The other ones you mentioned sound better. I enjoy leafing through magazines, too.

    1. For a more authentic and well-researched account of Mexican /migrant life, Luis Urrea is the author to read.

  2. I am glad to read your review and suggestions for similar titles. I put American Dirt on my book club's list for consideration for our April book but it wasn't the title we chose to read. But I have been thinking of reading it myself. Having read your thoughts, maybe I will try to get it at the library if and when the library ever opens again!!

    1. American Dirt would be a book club choice that would inspire a lot of discussion. It's a quick read.


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