59 pages 1 hour read

Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2020

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Chapters 5-7Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 5 Summary

Luca wakes from a nightmare at the hotel and screams when he remembers what happened. Lydia comforts him and gives him a drink of water. She turns on the television, orders room service, and goes into the bathroom. Luca follows her, not wanting to be alone. Lydia takes a shower and insists he take one, too. He refuses, traumatized by the memory of hiding in the shower during the massacre.

Lydia pushes the desk she placed in front of the door out of the way when the food arrives. The hotel worker hands Lydia a padded envelope before leaving, telling her it arrived last night. She panics and brings it into the bathroom. Luca vows to take care of his mother when he notices her struggling. He suggests they head north. Lydia agrees, telling him they will go to Denver where her uncle lives.

She inspects the envelope before tearing it open and discovering a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera, a book she and Javier discussed. Javier highlighted a passage containing Florentino Ariza’s declaration of love to Fermina Daza. Lydia is overcome with guilt. She reads the card Javier left for her, which blames them both for the massacre and contains a thinly veiled threat.

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By Jeanine Cummins