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59 pages 1 hour read

Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2020

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Chapters 19-22Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 19 Summary

Lydia now understands that Javier targeted her family in retaliation for Marta’s suicide. She feels guilty for misjudging Javier. She replays the conversation she and Sebastián had the night before the exposé came out, when he asked if they would be safer at a hotel. She regrets both her answer and the certainty with which she spoke. The note Javier sent her at the hotel in Acapulco takes on new meaning in light of Marta’s death: “I’m sorry for your pain and mine. Now we are bound forever in this grief” (194). Lydia refuses to grieve for Marta or to feel empathy for Javier. Her rage at the senseless murder of her family quashes all other emotions.

The migrants pass through busy neighborhoods as they near Guadalajara. They encounter prostitutes and soldiers, who steer clear of them when they see Danilo’s machete. Lorenzo tells Soledad and Rebeca he will take care of them after Danilo leaves them at La Piedrera. Soledad loses her temper. Fearing Lorenzo will report her to Javier, Lydia engages him in conversation. The sicario reveals that Javier is still looking for her and Luca, but he promises not to sell them out.

The group reaches the shelter, where the sisters ask for Luca’s help calling their father.

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By Jeanine Cummins