An American Marriage

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

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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As Celestial and Roy start their married life together, their future looks bright. Roy is a marketing executive bursting with ideas and confidence and Celestial has launched a business selling handmade dolls. When Roy is incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit,not only are their dreams shattered but the biggest question is: will their marriage survive?

I very much enjoyed this well-written story with real, interesting, and engaging characters. It was a moving and thoughtful story that really makes you think.
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Roy and Celestial begin their marriage like most other newlyweds:  with joy, confidence, and eagerness for their shared future.  After a simple act of kindness, though, their lives are changed forever.  How will they weather the tragedy of a separation neither of them has the power to control?  The story is told from multiple points of view, to excellent effect.  It's beautiful, tragic, hopeful, and haunting, in equal measure.   This one is destined to become a book club favorite.
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I thought this book was very insightful into the lives of the characters.  It seemed so true to life and my heart hurt for the turn their lives took.
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Amazing story, great characters, quick read that kept me up reading just one more chapter. So many scenes made me close the book and just mourn for the characters. The ending felt rushed, which was a shame, because I could easily have read another 200 pages to see if Roy and Celestial would ever find happiness again.
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Wow! Ms. Jones has found a way to describe a marriage that has to go through the ups and downs of incarceration and the feelings of each person in that marriage. I couldn't wait to get to reading each day and find out what was next. I've always enjoyed her books and Silver Sparrow remains one of my favorites but this is sure to be on the list for best books.
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Lots of buzz from Librarians on #ewgc and now I see why.  I really fell into the narrative and enjoyed the well-drawn characters. Evocative, deeply moving and an entry into a story outside my own experience. Very well done.
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'An American Marriage' follows the story of Roy and Celestial, a young married couple in America's south. They encounter the normal bumps in the road of an ordinary marriage for their first year, until Roy is wrongly accused and convicted of rape, and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Five years later, Roy's conviction is overturned and he is released to find that Celestial has not waited for him: she's in a new relationship. 

The reverberations of Roy's conviction are felt throughout the novel, as the plot winds through the past, present, and eventual future for Roy and Celestial and their marriage. 

It's a strong plot with high emotions and a great set of characters. I really enjoyed an insight into a part of American culture and life that I know very little about, and this immersive plot was engaging, enlightening and entertaining.
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This story is so beautifully told.  There are no good guys or bad guys...just some flawed folk dealing with ridiculously unfair issues.  It makes you wonder how long love must root before it can weather storms.  It makes you think about sacrifice and love and pain...tradition, mobility, and family.  I could not put it down.  Tayari Jones has written a gorgeous truthful novel.  I was privileged to get an early copy...I highly recommend this!
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1 significant night changes lives forever.

Letters between husband and wife for 3 years.

I could not finish book.

My husband is an ex-convict ... the homecoming scene with another woman bothered me.
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In America, we are often taught to assign people labels as 'wrong' 'undeserving' 'guilty' 'bad' so that we do not have to spend any time or energy trying to understand their lives and circumstances, and therefore empathize with them. If people are completely bad, then they certainly deserve their horrid situation, it is not our fault, and we cannot waste time worrying about them. And so we can sleep at night.

Rationalizing writing people off because of bad luck, or poor choices has prevented us from being a more caring community. And so in this story, an outsider could file these people into their categories:
(view spoiler)Done. Highlight the worst choice or most unfortunate luck to have happened to someone, throw them in the box, stop caring about them and move on.

Jones uses multiple perspectives, like she successfully did in Silver Sparrow, and effectively allows you to better understand from the inside how people survive and make decisions in impossible situations. We are all complex humans, not one of us is perfect. This book is tragic, riveting, wrenching, and honest. 

Tayari Jones is incomparable. American Marriage is unforgettable. Very Highly Recommended.
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An incredibly written look into one couples marriage that is torn apart by issues of race and incarceration. The book started very slow to me, but by the end I was wishing there was more to read.
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