An American Marriage

An American Marriage

A Novel

eBook - 2018
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OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION The celebrated author of Silver Sparrow, Tayari Jones, is back with a profoundly rendered story of love and its limits. In An American Marriage we meet Celestial, a thirtysomething African American woman from an upper-middle-class Atlanta family who is a year and a half into a marriage with a man named Roy. Roy views his much more modest, small-town Louisiana upbringing as a gift of humility, but he's also driven to make his mark in Atlanta's high-powered business world. On the sidelines as the novel begins is Andre, a man who was Celestial's best friend growing up, and who became a close friend to Roy during college. It was Andre who introduced the pair, and it is Andre to whom Celestial turns when Roy is sentenced to twelve years in a Louisiana prison for the rape of a white woman--a crime he did not commit. For years, Celestial sticks by Roy, visiting him, providing him with money, helping the lawyer pursue a reversal of the conviction, but over time her commitment wanes. Celestial questions their tumultuous marriage, begins to find her own way as an artist, and falls in love with Andre. When Roy is suddenly released from prison, his conviction overturned, Celestial, Roy, and Andre must each reexamine the bonds of love and friendship that have held them together, while at the same time searching for a way to move forward individually without sacrificing everything that had made their love possible. An American Marriage stuns with its emotional intensity, and grapples with the universal and relatable themes of what it means to be a husband, a wife, a father, a son, a daughter--as well as what it means to be black in America today.
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Additional Contributors: Jones, Tayari - Author

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t
TLC_253
Mar 29, 2021

The premise of this book - looking at the progression of a marriage impacted by incarceration - is intriguing, but once I had finished I felt a little let down. I had trouble caring about a relationship when from the start it's clear it wasn't solid. While I found the prose pleasing, there were some plot holes (like, no DNA test as part of a rape case?) that felt distracting. All in all, I thought it was good, but not great.

n
notAnn2000
Mar 23, 2021

Interesting story.

n
notAnn2000
Mar 23, 2021

This book was interesting.

d
Dee_BPL
Feb 25, 2021

Highly recommend!!

This was a good, fast, entertaining read.

j
jesskadoll
Aug 21, 2020

I had heard rave reviews on this book, and found it mediocre. I couldn't love or get connected to any of the characters. Although the story line was great, it was just an average read for me.

a
alecbussott
Aug 17, 2020

One of the most compelling reads I have encountered. This book will have you frustrated at one moment and elated at the next. A great examination of race and marriage in the US.

AndreaG_KCMO Jun 30, 2020

"Love is not love/ Which alters when it alteration finds...O no! it is an ever-fixed mark/ That looks on tempests and is never shaken..." In my former life as a teacher, Sonnet 116 was my exemplar of figurative language and emotional intensity. The poem is beautiful to read aloud, its aspirations daunting, even unattainable.

Tayari Jones's love story [and social commentary] is tragic because the characters pursue Shakespeare's lofty ideals but are relegated to reality. After Roy is wrongly imprisoned, Celestial's letters convey her ongoing love and loyalty to him. As years pass, she must quietly grapple with her fading feelings, the shame of accepting the relationship's end, and the complications caused by Roy's early release.

Each character's perspective is relatable, authentic, and causes the reader to question whether love can and should always be born out "even to the edge of doom."

kreedDCL Jun 20, 2020

Racial injustice and false imprisonment test the limits of what a relationship can endure.

JCLHeatherM Jun 10, 2020

Beautifully well written and packed with emotion, heartbreak, and injustice, Jones invites readers to examine the marriage of Roy and Celestial, two newlyweds barely into their second year of marriage when they are ripped apart by an unjust legal system that deems Roy a criminal. Facing a 12-year sentence, Roy and Celestial struggle to maintain their relationship and are facing an uncertain future when Roy is released back into society seven years early. Rather than portray a rosy ending, Jones promotes realism, examining the ties that bind us and the choices that we all make

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adicksonarguello
Jan 29, 2021

"Much of life is timing and circumstance - I see that now."

ArapahoeTina Feb 20, 2020

I don’t believe that blood makes a family; kin is the circle you create, hands held tight.

ArapahoeTina Feb 20, 2020

Marriage is between two people. There is no studio audience.

ArapahoeTina Feb 20, 2020

There should be a word for this, the way it feels to steal something that’s already yours.

a
abbi_g
Dec 27, 2018

The vast generosity of women is a mysterious tunnel, and nobody knows where it leads.

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wiseallison1
Dec 06, 2018

wiseallison1 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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