In American Dirt, Lydia and her son are the sole survivors of the Mexican cartel’s hit on their family. Lydia’s husband wrote an expose on the head of the cartel for his newspaper, which resulted in the kill order. Lydia quickly realizes she needs to flee Acapulco and get asylum in America. However, that is easier said than done.
Getting to American Dirt is Lydia’s goal in the latest Oprah’s book selection. The book has been the subject of numerous news stories about cultural misappropriation as the author isn’t Mexican and hasn’t been through Lydia’s experiences herself. However, this is fiction. I don’t expect it to be based on a true story any more than Harry Potter is. If it makes one suburban white person appreciate the “between a rock and a hard place” plight of migrants seeking asylum in the US, it has done its job—regardless of the race of the person telling the story. Maybe it will change Trump supporters mindset that all asylum seekers are liars and criminals. Or maybe not. Regardless, this book is an entertaining, and harrowing, read. 4 stars!
Thanks to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.