59 pages 1 hour read

Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2020

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Chapters 26-29Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 26 Summary

The migrants disembark at Nogales, which looks like a typical American city with wide streets, big cars, and a giant Coca-Cola sign. Soledad cries when she sees a highway sign indicating the way to the US. Lydia is both excited and exhausted by the time she gets off the train. She hesitates when the others mention lunch. Seeing her reticence, Beto offers to pay. Lydia fears he is cartel when she notices a wad of bills in his wallet as he pays for spicy stew at the birriería.

Soledad is anxious to see US soil. Beto points to an American flag in the distance. She is disappointed to see it behind three superposed walls topped by razor wire and cameras. On their side of the fence is a Mexican flag. Beto observes that the Mexican flag looks old and tattered next to its American counterpart. They walk to an opening in the fence and peer through.

Lydia questions Beto about his money. He gets defensive and tells her it is a reward for returning a gun and drugs to a stoned dealer. She asks how he plans to get across the border. He tells her that some children hand themselves to border agents directly, that some Central Americans are eligible for asylum, and that those whose lives are in danger cannot be sent home.

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By Jeanine Cummins