Wow, what a book. I was both riveted and horrified for the entire thing. I do most of my reading before going to bed, and American Dirt caused several restless nights as I lay wondering how people can possibly be so cruel to each other.
On the other hand, there are many amazing acts of kindness portrayed within the book, stories of people who hardly know each other but are united in fleeing from terrible situations. I was impressed by the fact that seemingly small acts of kindness can make a world of difference to a those in need.
Although it is fictional, the book was well-researched, and the story feels like it could have been real. Cummins skillfully illustrates the desperation of those who immigrate not simply to find a better life but rather to escape a life that has become unlivable.
I don’t know that I could handle reading this book again, but I’m glad to have read it. Doing so has made me more aware of others’ suffering, more compassionate towards them, and more grateful for the wonderful life I live.