An American Marriage

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

I enjoyed this thought provoking #diversespines March selection. AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE had me on an emotional rollercoaster and I’m still thinking about it 4 weeks later. Tayari delivered an authentic story with many themes and layers. Whether you are talking about the roles of fathers, class, education, marriage, black men in America, the American justice system, family or love this book will catapult you into a wide rage of conversations.

Although this book had many layers the most poignant moment for me was after I finished the book. A friend asked me how did I come to the conclusion that the woman who accused Roy of rape was a white woman when the author never mentioned race. I...

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This book was absolutely incredible.  Hands down one of my top reads of 2018 and so deserving of all the hype that it has received.
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This book took me a little while to get into. The beginning was a little slow but once about half way through I was invested in the characters and wanted to know how it would turn out.
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Excellent read and very thoughtful examination of a topic that needs as much coverage as it can get in this country. I commend Tayari Jones looking straight at the impact of a justice system in the context of the relationship that is impacted by it directly and profoundly. Essential reading.
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An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is one of those stories where I didn't like any of the characters, but I easily and quickly read through the book. Jones' writing is engaging enough that I was able to get annoyed when the characters just refused to take responsibility for their own actions causing the problems and complications in their lives. I started out having plenty of empathy for the situation that Celestial and Roy found themselves in, but my good will quickly ran out.

Celestial being willing to stay with Roy in order to support him in a situation that is terrifying for both of them, made me want to see her as what she thinks that she is; a strong woman who knows in...

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Celestial and Roy are one of those couples that epitomizes the New South, an artist and an aspiring businessman, graduates of Spelman and Morehouse. Then, on a trip to Louisiana to visit his parents, Roy is accused of a rape he doesn't commit and sentenced to twelve years in jail. Mostly told through letters, this is the story of the tests to their marriage as their time apart exceeds their time together and its contrasted with their parents' relationships and the new relationships they build as their individual lives move in different directions. Poignant.
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I must admit that I am underwhelmed by this book. After all the hype and other reviews, I was expecting more. I feel like I must have missed or overlooked something. I didn't much care about the characters and the story was depressing. However, I did like the author's writing style and would be willing to give her another try. This one just wasn't for me.
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Part of review from Goodreads: "I enjoyed this book. Walking away from it I take the knowledge that empathy and understanding is what we should have for incarcerated individuals. You don't know the full story, so don't judge."
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Told from three connected points of view, the characters were developed very well.  I empathized with all three of them.  I loved this book!
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This book had me hooked on the very first page. "There are two kinds of people in the world, those who leave home, and those who don't."- Great first sentence.

"Home" is an interesting theme throughout this book. Roy and Celestial are newly married and at the precipice of living the American dream. After only a year of marriage, Roy is accused of a crime that his wife knows for a fact that he did not commit. But after he is arrested and sentenced to spend time in prison (this isn't a spoiler, the book jacket sets the scene right away). He's ripped away from the home they thought they were going to build together.

This couple started out with a...

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This is an amazing book -- it deserves every ounce of praise and recognition it's gotten! I loved it!
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I really enjoyed Tayari Jones' previous novel Silver Sparrow so I've been eagerly awaiting the release of this book. It was so worth the wait. This is a fantastic novel and I could not put it down. I love how Jones uses a compelling story to explore themes of mass incarceration and what it is like to be black in the American South. I also loved how marriage was explored in this novel. This is one of those novels that would be perfect for discussing with other readers ... there is just so much in this novel that needs to be discussed with others. I've also heard a few people talk about how this would pair well with The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of...

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Headline:
An American Marriage is an intimately written novel that tackles a number of weighty current issues in an organic way…and is my favorite novel of 2018 so far!

Plot Summary:
When Roy goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit only a year and a half into their new marriage, Celestial must figure out how to cope with his absence and shape her life in the face of this massive upheaval.

Why I Read It:
This year, I’m trying to select books that come highly recommended by people whose recommendations I trust and that have already read the book (rather than are just excited to read it). An American Marriage came with a 5 star review from Nicole Bonia of The Readerly Report Podcast...

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When you request book through Netgalley, they would like you to let them know if certain things caused you to request the book. I keep hearing about this book? Nope, hadn't heard a thing about this one when I asked it. Now, sure, Oprah's picked it for her book club but she hadn't when I requested this one. Cover? Sure, it's a lovely cover and perfect once you read the book but it's not attracted me to the book. Description? Didn't even read it and I'm really glad I hadn't before I started reading it. Author? Check. This is entirely the reason I requested this book. I've been hearing about Jones' Silver Sparrow since before it came out and...

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I didn’t love this book as fully as others, including most critics, but I can’t deny that it was haunting. Using letters as the primary way to tell the story was effective in creating a distance between Roy and Celestial that filled up in my mind with everything unsaid and unknown.  I just felt some of the plot elements were a bit contrived, otherwise it would have gotten 5 stars from me.
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Roy and Celestial have been married for almost two years when their relationship takes a hit no one could ever anticipate. As they are in rural Louisiana visiting Roy's family, he is wrongly accused of a crime he didn't commit. Sentenced to twelve years in a Louisiana prison, the time they have spent married will be much shorter than the time they are about to spend apart. Will they both be able to survive the predicament they are in? With Celestial in Atlanta trying to continue to live her life and Roy in Louisiana, writing letters back and forth and having sporadic visits, will their marriage survive?

Thank you to NetGalley and Algonquin Books for the opportunity to read and...

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This is a gorgeous, sweeping novel that follows the lives and marriage of Celestial and Roy in the South. A thoughtful novel about not only love and marriage, it takes a stand on racial and wealth/class injustice in America. The differences between the haves and have nots is nothing new, but the author seamlessly combines all the issues and weaves in the ends to craft this amazing story. The main characters are so well written but there are other secondary characters that are just as vivid. This is an intense story that will linger in my mind for a long time. I could not be happier that it has received the blessing of Oprah, now I know that millions will read this book. Thank you so much...

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Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I felt let down by this book. Most of the main characters, I did not like, well Roy improved for most of the book, but Celestial...um no. And her friend Andre could never really be trusted. Yet you don't have to like the people who populate the book for it to be good. And there are some aspects in this book that's good to be out there, and talked about, and there's some subtly to it. The main issue in the book is a HUGE problem, incarceration of black men, especially falsely accused of rape.

At one point Celestial says, like a secret let out "I'm a bad person." Well, am I a bad person for not liking this book? A...

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Celestial and Roy are a young married couple just starting out in life. She is starting out with a doll making business, more artsy than toyish. He has dreams of his own. A night back in his hometown leads to Roy becoming incarcerated. The story takes us through all of this in letters between the two of them. And there is also Andre in the equation. Dre is Celestial’s lifelong friend and the one who first introduced them. As time passes in prison for Roy, Celestial’s life moves on and that includes a relationship with Andre.

There is an almost poetic tone to the writing in this novel. A few times, I had to stop and reread a few phrases, tossing them around on my tongue to really savor...

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It occurred to me not long into reading "An American Marriage" that I don't read many books with African American protagonists. I don't read many African American authors either. I'm so glad Tayari Jones' newest novel found its way to me through Netgalley. 

"An American Marriage" is the story of a young black couple, barely two years married. It's the story of Roy, the husband, who comes from a poorer background but is making up for that with dreams and ambition. It's the story of his wife, Celestial, a talented artist who is swept along by Roy's dreams and who is given opportunities from the wealthy background of her parents.
...

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