An American Marriage

An American Marriage

A Novel

Book - 2018
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Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young 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 ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy's time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward--with hope and pain--into the future.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781616201340
Branch Call Number: JONES T
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 24 cm


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Apr 29, 2019

Perhaps one needs to be an American and/or
African- American to get what all the hype is about.
I am neither.

The characters are not terribly interesting and the
narrative is pretty much predictable.
Middle class family comes apart when husband is
wrongfully convicted.

Apr 07, 2019

This book should be in the fantasy section. Who are these people - the Huxtables? And the portrayal of prison does a disservice to the real conditions of incarceration.

Hillsboro_ElenaG Apr 01, 2019

A compelling, character-driven story about how a black man's incarceration for a crime he didn't commit impacts his relatively new marriage to an aspiring artist. Told in alternating points of view between couple Ray and Celestial, this is a tough and emotional read at points, but well worth the time and emotional investment. (Rumor has it that the audiobook is very good too--it has dual narrators to capture the two strong voices of the book's central couple.)

Mar 11, 2019

Favorite book so far this year

Mar 10, 2019

Wow. Just wow. What masterpiece. The set-up. The characters. The social commentary. The brilliantly plotted story. What binds these characters - including the secrets and histories that are told in confidence to each. I could not put down this book. I was next to these characters...with them in rooms and cars and reading the letters between them. I was rooting for them, commiserating with them and watching and waiting to see what will transpire between them. I don't want to say anything that will spoil this trajectory. There is the overall story but there is the subtext, breathing and gaining life behind the larger plot points. This bittersweet story will stay with me for a long time.

Mar 03, 2019

Tayari Jones surely demonstrated why she is an award winning author. Injustice, betrayal and true love are caught in the path of a marriage. Life seems to be a dream for Roy and Celestial as newlyweds but then a horrific event occurs that crashes their lives. Best friend, Andre, and an un expected meeting between Roy and his biological father enters into the plot twist. Jones develops the characters as skillfully as she unrolls the plot.

Feb 14, 2019

A satisfying character-driven story of a young up and coming black couple in today's Atlanta.
Their new marriage is tragically interrupted when Roy's falsely accused of rape. After a long stay in jail awaiting trial, he's convicted, and sentenced to 12 years in the Louisiana state penitentiary. His father, Big Roy, tries to prepare him. So does his cellmate, Walter, who by coincidence (or not) treats him well and keeps him out of trouble. Once Roy's incarcerated, that section of the novel is in epistolary mode, with letters between him and his wife Celestial, and her few visits--it's many hours between Atlanta and the prison. She's working hard on her career of making high-class, well selling sock dolls, something he suggested, and is proud of--they all look like his baby pictures. A third voice comes into the picture, Andre, who has lived next door to Celestial all her life, who introduced her to Roy, and who was his best man. As the years of Roy's sentence tick slowly by, Andre and Celestial grow into a new relationship. Her Uncle Banks files appeals, one of which, after 5 years, finally frees Roy. He comes home days before Christmas, expecting to pick up where they left off. It doesn't work out quite that way. Later this month, this will be the first book discussed by a new book club being formed in my neighborhood. I'm looking forward to the discussion. So much of the book is relevant to the plight of over-incarcerated black males today; I'm hoping we can get a real discussion of that topic going.

Feb 06, 2019

Interesting story. The middle was drawn out a bit. Powerful ending.

Jan 08, 2019

I'm so confused by my conflicting emotions throughout this book. Some of which I felt were legitimate, while others felt contradictory. One thing for sure, this book is relevant to the plight of African American males. My heart broke for Roy and his innocent incarceration and then what he came home to. At the same time, I found many of the actions by all three of the main characters to be irredeemable. Including Roy. Hence, my confusing emotions. They turned again when I started choking up during the epilogue. I can't deny that this wasn't a fascinating story line with stellar writing. Emotionally, I didn't find it to be an easy read, but the thought provoking and relevant story kept me turning pages.

Jan 07, 2019

An American Marriage is a heartbreaking novel that tells the story of Roy and Celestial, a young couple just over a year into marriage when Roy is arrested an imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. Sadly this work of fiction is entirely too real for many people, and depicts the damage that is done to those in the prison system. Beautifully written, you won't be able to shake this one for a while.

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Dec 06, 2018

wiseallison1 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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Dec 27, 2018

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


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