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  • Writer's pictureBridget Walsh

Book review: 'American Dirt' by Jeanine Cummins, 2020

I have just read this amazing novel. It’s a best seller and for good reason.

A mother takes her young son with her as they try to escape from a murderous criminal in charge of a drug cartel. She has to get from her home in Acapulco, in Mexico to 'safety' in the United States but is unsure if she will be an illegal immigrant, or an asylum seeker, or even if they will make it.

As a historian, I am fascinated how wars and famines force people to become homeless and flee for their lives.

In 'Daughters in Exile,' (available on Amazon and KU.) I write about the Irish Famine and how my two female protagonists were forced to flee Ireland in the middle of the Famine,

'American Dirt' is a twenty-first century tale, but has all the themes familiar from history. Extreme danger, criminal gangs, police and armies, the vulnerability of women and children. Kind-hearted strangers, strong family ties and love are at the heart of the novel.

This story could be set in the 18th, 19th or 20th centuries and it is heart-breaking to read that this still happens in the 21st century.

It is beautifully written by a woman and about women and children.

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