An American Marriage

An American Marriage

Book - 2018
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"Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control"--
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2018
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781616208776
Branch Call Number: FIC JONES 2018
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

A look at the personal toll of the criminal justice system from the author of Silver Sparrow (2011) and The Untelling (2005).

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Jun 19, 2018

I don't remember how this on got on my library list, but it felt like I had been waiting in line for it for a while, so it had to be good, right?! Well, thankfully it seems like everyone who was on the waitlist had the right idea because I really enjoyed it. I had a hard time putting it down because I just had to know what happened next. It sort of felt like a reality TV show (like you were looking in on two real people's lives and watching it all unfold right in front of you). It's a story about injustice, betrayal, love and forgiveness. The characters all felt real and by the end I was really pulling for them (or at least a couple of them over the others, but shhhhh I'll never tell which ;) ). The author truly made the story come alive. I enjoyed how the format went from a normal chapter book to letters written back and forth between the two main characters and then back to your standard novel format. As with life, there were no real winners or losers in this story - just people doing the best they could with the cards they'd been dealt. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

Jun 16, 2018

Made me think of the difficulty of any long term separations on marriage
as well as the difficulty of trying to live together again.
And is promising to love someone till death without parting, is that reasonable?

Jun 10, 2018

“Even when I’m happy there is something between me and whatever good news comes my way. It’s like eating a butterscotch still sealed in the wrapper." There is good writing in An American Marriage but overall I can't say I'm inspired to read more from this author. The plot had waaaaay too many holes for me. While I can appreciate the character development, the main characters were generally unlikable. In the end, I found myself disliking most of the characters and looking forward to moving on to my next book. I can't say too much without spoiling it for others. Nonetheless, I assume Tayari Jones wants us to know marriage is hard but reading this book was the real chore.

May 27, 2018

“I know you're innocent, there is not one doubt in my mind, but I also know that you're not here.”

While this book is totally out of my typical genre scope, I am glad I took the time to appreciate the literary value this story is. An American Marriage explores not just the social issue of mass incarceration, disproportionately impacting black men, but as well as the effect it has on the domestic life. Roy and Celestial are barely married when he is sent to prison for a 12 year sentence- drastically changing the outlook of their marriage.

What Tayari Jones does extremely well here is she gives us completely complex, individual characters with their own issues. I also believe this novel questions the institution of marriage and it's requirements; how much loyalty is required? What are the boundaries? What do you do when faced with this death-sentence practically to the one thing these two people have together?

I give An American Marriage 3.5 stars for my personal reception of it- I found myself at times just wanting a scene to hurry up and get over with because I knew it wouldn't be much plot development wise. Where I know I fail is that I'm too used to faster paced novels to have truly taken my time with those moments.

May 07, 2018

Very good book...accusation confusing...

JCLCherylMY May 05, 2018

Oprah's latest Book Club pick (2018). Highly recommend.

lindab1111 Apr 13, 2018

Don't let the sticker "Oprah's Book Club" keep you away from this book. What a powerful story of marriage, race, fate, hope, freedom and so much more. Each character has a voice that is true and honest. Tragic circumstances tear apart relationships and bring together others. This is an honest look at the life of a young black couple and a system that still stings of racism and injustice.

OPL_MelanieS Apr 10, 2018

There is so much to examine in this book - marriage, family, parenthood, race, incarceration, and the choices people make for those we love. A compelling read ideal for those who prefer character development over plot and a great choice for book clubs.

Apr 09, 2018

Thought provoking and tragic. This book is not plot driven and will not appeal to those that prefer a strong plot, but otherwise it is well worth reading.

Apr 06, 2018

The author delved deep into the psyche of a marriage slowly transformed by the incarceration of the innocent husband. The legal system was not addressed well and having the "best friend since babies" guy on the side was a little to set up. Otherwise, readers get a well written and intimate account of a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time - timely.

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