It’s unseasonably warm and sunny, and it’s supposed to get significantly warmer by this afternoon, a little taste of summer before the temperature plummets again by the middle of next week. I’ve got a steaming cup of chai and a slice of freshly baked Date Bread, as well as my usual Date Bar, to fuel me up before I head out for a long walk after finishing this post.
I read a book last week that was recommended to me by my cousin, who is also an avid reader. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins tells the story of Lydia and Luca, a mother and son who are trying to escape the jefe (boss) of a drug cartel in Acapulco, Mexico, after Lydia’s husband and extended family are killed at a birthday celebration. Bookstore owner Lydia has been friends with Javier, the jefe, without knowing his association with the cartel, but something has made her a target (you’ll have to read the book to find out what), and now she has to save the only family she has left and get across the border to the US while evading gang members along the way. The only way she can get across is by posing as a migrant, and she meets various people on her journey, some who offer help and some who are intent on causing harm. My cousin loved, loved, loved it, so I found a second-hand copy and started it last weekend, and I’ll admit that it was a very compelling read. But I had issues with the fact that the author is not Latinx, and I wondered how it was that she felt she could write about the migrant experience. In the author note at the end, she does say that she wished someone “slightly browner” would write this story, but that her husband was an immigrant who was undocumented before they married, leading me to assume that he is Latinx. I just looked up reviews of this book and there is plenty of controversy surrounding it for this very reason; also, her husband, while an immigrant, is originally from Ireland. So you can read this “propulsively readable” book if you wish, but don’t think, as I did, that you are getting an authentic peek at the harrowing migrant experience.
That’s all for today. Get outside and enjoy the sunshine!
Bye for now... Julie
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