Cover Image: An American Marriage

An American Marriage

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Member Reviews

I had high hopes at the start of this book. The set up was intriguing. A couple that had only been married a few years, still working out the kinks in their marriage, is put to a difficult test. The husband is sent to jail for a crime he did not commit. A significant portion of the book is filled with the letters they wrote to each other while he was in prison. That is the best part of the book. The progression of their separate lives solely through the letters was a great technique. 

Unfortunately, once the story moved back to their thoughts and dialogue, it goes down hill. The whole thing turns in to a soap opera like melodrama. It goes from being a relateable story, to Dynasty meets Love and Hip Hop. The characters make terrible, nonsensical decisions. And somethings are left unexplained. Specifically, the woman's voice never explains her motive for her big decision (made while he was in prison) to us. And since that turns all of their fate, its kind of important.
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What a beautifully original book.  I have never read anything by this author before and I can say I was pleasantly surprised!  I was moved by the characters and their inner dialogues.  I felt it was well constructed and easily readable.
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This heart-wrenching book drew me in from the very first page. It deals with modern-day issues from race to how marriage looks, and is so compelling.
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I could not get into this novel.  I'm sure that other readers will go well with it.  I apologize.
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I had heard buzz about this book at BEA and  AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE thankfully lived up to the hype.
I cared so much for each of the  believable characters in this wonderful heartbreaking love story.   Powerful and gripping tale about the new Jim Crow.  Can’t wait to recommend and discuss this book!
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Loved this book and enjoyed reading it so much that I never wanted to stop!  Accompanying Roy, Celestial and Andre on their hard-fought journey through an egregious injustice with hope, love, friendship, brutal honesty and respect was intense.  Looking forward to reading other titles by Tayari Jones!
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I really enjoy Tayari Jones's writing style. She writes easy-to-read, plot-driven fiction, but her characters are always so sharply drawn you feel like you know them, and she knows how to turn a beautiful phrase. This book had all of those elements. It wasn't quite a five-star read for me, though, because I didn't love the second half of the book as much as the first. Quite a few events happen quickly and some aren't adequately explained. Still, a most enjoyable read. Thank you to Net Galley for providing me an advanced copy for review.
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An incredible story about life, love, and the shameful reality of what it means to be a black man in America. When Celestial’s husband Roy was falsely accused and incarcerated, her world, and marriage were rocked. What ensued was real, raw, and complicated. Jones does a masterful job of telling this story.
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Recently married, Roy and Celestial are focused on building a life together. One night at a motel in Louisiana changes everything. Five years pass and the couple must piece together what happened and how they can move beyond the tragedy that befell them. This story explores the complexities of race, marriage, and loyalty with grace and wisdom. Highly recommend.
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DNF.  I'm sure others will find this novel quite interesting, but it just didn't capture my interest.  I stopped reading just a few chapters in.
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This book was a very interesting and unique portrayal of marriage.  The story begins with newlyweds Celestial and Roy who are a young black couple with promising futures. Their lives are torn apart when Roy is sentenced to jail for a crime he did not commit. I enjoyed the author's use of letter correspondence during Roy's incarceration which is an effective device in conveying the difficulties they are each enduring and the effects on their separation as Roy struggles in prison and Celestial begin to move on with her life.  The writer's style feels conversational as if you are sitting down and talking with the characters as the book changes perspective between each. Overall a very well written book with interesting and complex characters.
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Well written and very touching. I enjoyed the rapid development of the book from the beginning. It didn't harp on the circumstances that led Roy to incarceration as much as it focused on the relationships prior, during, and after his incarceration. People are complicated and so are feelings. Wonderful story!
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Like Silver Sparrow, I was immediately and irreversibly pulled into the world of the characters. This author knows how to connect you so deeply to experience and emotion, even as someone who has no shared culture or stake (White lady here!) my heart broke in turns for each of the main characters, as well as secondary characters (Davina, anyone?) it seems impossible for any one character to find peace and happiness and by the end, you realize that's kind of the point. Each of these characters is flawed in their own way, each has lives that are real and rich and full of heartache and happiness and that's what matters.
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I was a big fan of SILVER SPARROW but Tayari Jones has absolutely outdone herself with AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE. Her portrayal of multi-layered, complex characters is nothing short of stunning. The injustice at what befalls Roy broke my heart. I loved Celestial and Andre too -- and of course Olive and Big Roy -- each of whom populates the page as though actually present in flesh and blood. Readers looking for a fast-paced thriller won't necessarily take to this novel, but fans of literary fiction are sure to deem it a favorite of 2018. It's already on my favorites list.
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I am writing this immediately after turning the final page of An American Marriage and it feels as if my heart, breath, and soul are clutched in a knot in my chest. This is by no means a bad thing, though the feel of it is unpleasant. It is a testament to the mastery and beauty of raw emotion and truth that Jones has blended in her latest novel. It takes an extraordinary talent to combine matters of class, Black America, parenthood, the prison system, growth (into yourself and toward/away from others), and love in all its shades and complexities without letting something slip or go underrepresented. An American Marriage is a perfect balance in all its heartbreak and a reminder that joy can exist for us all, if we are open to new ideas of what it can look like. A marvel.
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An American Marriage forces us readers to ask ourselves if we would stay in a marriage that forces your spouse to be separated from you for years. Would you wait for your spouse, or would you throw up the deuces and move on? Celestial and Roy are newly married and are living the ideal life. Their lives are turned upside down when Roy is sent to prison. After Roy has been imprisoned for years, Celestial finds love with her childhood friend and Roy’s friend, Andre. However, Roy is released early from prison unbeknownst to his wife and friend. Shit hits the fan, y’all!

Simply put, this book is amazing. I enjoyed it all, the plot, the characters, hell, the writing! The writing is killer. Just brilliant! Tayari is that chick! I swear, if I could choose any author’s writing style as my own, I’m riding with Tayari. Every. Single. Time. Her writing style is everything. It’s elegant and smart, yet saucy and modern. It’s perfect! Unfortunately, An American Marriage will be released 8 February 2018. Mark your calendars.

Simply put, I loved it! I will forever read any book by Tayari Jones. The writing is impeccable, the story forces readers to really examine ourselves. Would you stay with your spouse and do the time or would you move on?
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All the feels. This book was like a roller coaster, and I couldn’t ever decide if I loved it or was bored.
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For me this was a challenging book to read, but interesting topic. The conflict between Celestial, Roy, and Andre was realistic. The story is told by each of the main characters....their point of view about the situations.
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I didn't read the book completely, but I liked what I read. I did find it hard to keep track of who was talking when the chapters switched between narrators. It certainly is about a life completely different from mine.
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What would happen to your marriage if your husband was sentenced to prison for a crime he didn't commit? Would your marriage survive? Loved the multiple perspectives as we watch Roy and Celestial change as the years go by- from his sentencing, his incarceration, to his early release from prison when he expects his life to resume as it was before. Highly recommend.
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