An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones
Read: Aug 8 – 11, 2018
Blurb: Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young business executive and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are suddenly ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined when, while visiting Roy’s parents in their small Louisiana town, Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years in prison for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit.
Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend and Roy’s best man at her wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. When, after five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together, Celestial is faced with a soul-wrenching decision: whether to let go or to try to rebuild a marriage that has lost its underpinnings.
This stirring love story is an insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward – with hope and pain – into the future.
Review: Ok, so this book originally caught my attention when it was a Book of the Month Club selection back in February. I was a little hesitant on it simply because it’s outside my wheelhouse, but it sounded super interesting. I ultimately passed on it. But it kept creeping up everywhere! And it still sounded interesting. And then Modern Mrs. Darcy chose it as a book for her 2018 Summer Reading Guide. I couldn’t escape it … I knew I was going to have to read it. I just lucked out that my library had a copy of it!
And I’m really glad that my library had a copy of it. Because I would have been disappointed to spend my money on a hardcover copy of this. It wasn’t that it was necessarily a bad book … it just wasn’t what I was expecting at all.
I really detested Celestial’s character. I did not like who she was as a person or a wife. It just wasn’t becoming of her to behave in the manner she did. She was a married woman basically trying to pretend she wasn’t.
I’ve re-written my thoughts a million times and I still can’t get them right. It was definitely written differently than I had anticipated. I think I was expecting it to be more about Roy’s trial whereas it’s more about relationships between people. So while not bad, just not what I was looking for. It was easily readable, but I never liked the characters, other than Big Roy and Olive.
Just an ok book for me … but I can see why it’s made such a splash since its release.