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Sume their life togetherThis stirring love story is a deeply 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 into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward with hope and pain into the futu I cannot for the life of me understand why people like this book If it weren’t for Oprah loving it I honestly do not think people would buy it There was no plot and it is the most boring book I’ve ever read Basically if you read the synopsis you’ve read all the “exciting” parts and know the entire plot It’s technically an easy read but boring overall I powered through to finish it since it has so many positive reviews with the hopes that it would suddenly turn around or have an amazing ending that would make it worth reading Major disappointment Heads, Features and Faces (Dover Anatomy for Artists) of three people who are at Evolve Level 4 Students Book once bound and separated by forces beyond their control An American Marriage is a masterpiece Professional Daily Fantasy Football of storytelling an intimate look into the souls Stories for Boys of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward with hope and pain into the futu I cannot for the life Mountain City of me understand why people like this book If it weren’t for Oprah loving it I honestly do not think people would buy it There was no plot and it is the most boring book I’ve ever read Basically if you read the synopsis you’ve read all the “exciting” parts and know the entire plot It’s technically an easy read but boring Untitled (The Trials of Apollo, overall I powered through to finish it since it has so many positive reviews with the hopes that it would suddenly turn around Extracted or have an amazing ending that would make it worth reading Major disappointment

Characters An American Marriage

An American Marriage

L 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 re Update 2018 National Book Awards Fiction Another great choice pick this yearSMALL UPDATE I said I would come back and write a complete review but a few comments in here have inspired and encouraged me to perhaps leave this review alone So I’ll only add a couple of things Sharing First it’s funny what happens to our minds when we move on right away to reading other books after a deep thought provoking readIt’s like ADDING children to the family expanding our heart to love and think about each one differently but each so special Recently it’s been like a grand slam rocking hot reading explosion experienceIt started with “The Weight of Ink” by Rachel Radishwhich I still think aboutAnd THIS book which I still think aboutand now two others “Fair and Tender Ladies” by Lee Smith and“The Gunners” by Rebecca Kauffman BOTH of these two books I’m currently reading are EACH SOO GOOD it’s a race to the finish line as to which I’ll finish first as I’m now so ‘deeply’ involved in ecstasy reading both books Listening to “The Gunners” during the day reading “Fair and Tender Ladies at night and middle of the nightMy mind is swimming with wonderful feelings and thoughts and experiences of great created characters from our books Little friends in our headSo there are MANY VARIED REVIEWS on“THE AMERICAN MARRIAGE”I’m only going to add one final thoughtOpinion really I honestly believe there is something of great value in this book for women men married or single black white any nationality all legal adult ages young 20’s on up I mentioned in my little review that this book is a great ‘ examination of marriageI ALSO think it’s a great discussion whether or not to MARRY or NOT in this day and age There is ‘something’ no spoilers to pay close attention to at the beginning of this book BEFORE MARRIAGEWe’ve ALL had those experiences where our gut is warning us — something doesn’t feel right our souls don’t feel secure safe—but then as thinking beings— we’ve intellectualized the situation and let it goonly later to kick ourselves for not taking the GUT MESSAGE serious There was a ‘red flag’ moment in this storythat I knew was going to come back to ‘haunt’ and it did My heart ached at that momentThe ending of this book is also powerful and in my opinion clearly sends a messageNot only had every character been broken— but culture conditions of injustice proved to be devastating too EVERYONE WAS AFFECTED FROM THE HORRIFIC INJUSTICEbut sadly facing reality—personal problems didn’t get swept under the rug Small problems didn’t get replaced with bigger ones Brene Brown talks about learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable “The American Marriage” plays out those type of dialogues of communication Characters were practicing being comfortable with very uncomfortable communication Truthful dialogue surfaced through letters Later face to faceOriginal little review Phenomenal intimate gut wrenching storytelling Every character has been wounded Their struggles are REAL Personally I had empathy for everyone— but I can understand if readers favor one character over another There are complex uncomfortable situations throughout I could imagine how each person felt from their point of view I felt those emotions tooThis novel is definitely a ‘discussion’ bookan examination of marriage what happens when horrific circumstances literally change the direction of life? EVERYONE IS AFFECTED EVERYONE reacts differently I’ve much admiration for the wisdom —the depths — of understanding that Jones has for all the many types of relationships we have in our lives I need to get some sleep I’ll continue the rest of this review tomorrow or over the weekend Un Mundo De Sonidos A Cuaderno - 9788480253932 on to the love that has been her center After five years Roy’s conviction is suddenly Deseo de ser piel roja overturned and he returns to Atlanta ready to re Update 2018 National Book Awards Fiction Another great choice pick this yearSMALL UPDATE I said I would come back and write a complete review but a few comments in here have inspired and encouraged me to perhaps leave this review alone So I’ll The Man of Fashion only add a couple Russia in Flames of things Sharing First it’s funny what happens to Under the Water our minds when we move Cat Breaking Free on right away to reading El Andorrà: D'car mo un pastor d'Almeria es converteix en l'home més ric d'Andorra other books after a deep thought provoking readIt’s like ADDING children to the family expanding ایران در گذر روزگاران our heart to love and think about each Ezekiel (Taupadak) one differently but each so special Recently it’s been like a grand slam rocking hot reading explosion experienceIt started with “The Weight Mujeres de luz of Ink” by Rachel Radishwhich I still think aboutAnd THIS book which I still think aboutand now two Atrévete a no gustar: Libérate de tus miedos y alcanza la verdadera felicidad others “Fair and Tender Ladies” by Lee Smith and“The Gunners” by Rebecca Kauffman BOTH Wingmen of these two books I’m currently reading are EACH SOO GOOD it’s a race to the finish line as to which I’ll finish first as I’m now so ‘deeply’ involved in ecstasy reading both books Listening to “The Gunners” during the day reading “Fair and Tender Ladies at night and middle Dear Henry of the nightMy mind is swimming with wonderful feelings and thoughts and experiences Historia de España 2º Bach. (Libro de texto) - 9788499952000 of great created characters from The Leprechauns of Software Engineering our books Little friends in Nine Dates (Desert Ménage, our headSo there are MANY VARIED REVIEWS Desert Ménage Trilogy on“THE AMERICAN MARRIAGE”I’m La Fuga di Bach (1CD audio) only going to add Yawara! 29 (Yawara!, one final thoughtOpinion really I honestly believe there is something Caviar of great value in this book for women men married Intranerso or single black white any nationality all legal adult ages young 20’s Diese verrückten 90 Minuten: Das Fuss-Ball-Buch on up I mentioned in my little review that this book is a great ‘ examination O último barco of marriageI ALSO think it’s a great discussion whether The Land Beyond Summer or not to MARRY Logan G. Una aventura épica (Crossbooks) or NOT in this day and age There is ‘something’ no spoilers to pay close attention to at the beginning The Secret History of the World of this book BEFORE MARRIAGEWe’ve ALL had those experiences where The Secret History of the World our gut is warning us — something doesn’t feel right Infidelidad Consentida, vol. 2 our souls don’t feel secure safe—but then as thinking beings— we’ve intellectualized the situation and let it goonly later to kick The NexStar User's Guide ourselves for not taking the GUT MESSAGE serious There was a ‘red flag’ moment in this storythat I knew was going to come back to ‘haunt’ and it did My heart ached at that momentThe ending Doblaje of this book is also powerful and in my Time Warp opinion clearly sends a messageNot 7 Claves para Potenciar tu Lenguaje Corporal only had every character been broken— but culture conditions Blood Diamonds (Ben Kamal and Danielle Barnea, of injustice proved to be devastating too EVERYONE WAS AFFECTED FROM THE HORRIFIC INJUSTICEbut sadly facing reality—personal problems didn’t get swept under the rug Small problems didn’t get replaced with bigger Ghita Two ones Brene Brown talks about learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable “The American Marriage” plays The 8-Minute Writing Habit out those type Impredecible (La llave de su destino of dialogues Tras la piel ajena of communication Characters were practicing being comfortable with very uncomfortable communication Truthful dialogue surfaced through letters Later face to faceOriginal little review Phenomenal intimate gut wrenching storytelling Every character has been wounded Their struggles are REAL Personally I had empathy for everyone— but I can understand if readers favor Повест за Зоя и Шура one character Повест за Зоя и Шура one character Faculty of Fire of view I felt those emotions tooThis novel is definitely a ‘discussion’ bookan examination Es gribu dejot simt gadu of marriage what happens when horrific circumstances literally change the direction Bioloxia e Xeoloxía 1º ESO (SomosLink) - 9788490461075 of life? EVERYONE IS AFFECTED EVERYONE reacts differently I’ve much admiration for the wisdom —the depths — Serena (Doncellas Coloniales, of understanding that Jones has for all the many types The Best Science Fiction of the Year 6 of relationships we have in Star Songs of An Old Primate our lives I need to get some sleep I’ll continue the rest Screening the Golden Ages of the Classical Tradition of this review tomorrow Hydes Absolution (Sydney Storm MC or Eagles and Bulldogs in Normandy, 1944 over the weekend

Summary ☆ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ¹ Tayari Jones

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South He is a young executive and she is artist on the brink of an exciting career They are settling into the routine of their life together when they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestia Much of life is timing and circumstance I see that now I know it's still early but I've got a feeling this is going to be one of my favourite reads of 2018 It is a powerful subtle sad tale about the criminal justice system in America and the personal long term conseuences of its injusticesThere's a lot of discussion articles and fiction looking at race based injustice in the prison system of the United States Most of these focus on racial profiling of young black men and how juries are likely to convict a black man than a white man when presented with the same evidence An American Marriage though does something a bit different While race specifically being a black American is one of the major pillars of the novel it is not so much the focus as the stage on which this tale of love marriage and loyalty plays out Instead of looking at the injustice itself the novel turns to the far reaching conseuences of it how lives are turned upside down and relationships fall apart as a result It is driven by complex and fascinating character drama moving between the perspectives of the entirely non white cast to create a character portrait that is both broad and deepRoy is a hard working entrepreneurial black man who has clawed his way out of a working class background earned a scholarship to college and married a middle class artist Celestial Next step starting a family together Then during a trip back home to Louisiana Roy is accused and convicted of a crime he didn't commitAs the first person narrative gives way to an epistolary format during Roy's time in prison we see how Roy's incarceration drives a wedge between him and Celestial An American Marriage asks us to consider what it really means to be married and whether there comes a point when loyalty can no longer be expected We are ultimately reminded that injustices against innocent black men are injustices against many others the wives or husbands the mothers and fathers and the friends who love them Jones sheds a haunting light on the all encompassing nature of racial injustice It is extremely effectiveBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube


10 thoughts on “An American Marriage

  1. says:

    A couple years ago Melinda and I visited a state prison in Georgia as part of our foundation’s work on US poverty I’d never been to a prison before and it was an eye opening experienceThe most memorable part was the discussion we had with some of the inmates about transitioning back into society Although most were looking forward to leaving prison behind some were clearly anxious about it One man told us he was scared to re enter society after so many years behind bars Another mentioned that it felt like he was a car about to be dropped into the middle of a racetrack where the other cars are already going 200 miles per hourI couldn’t help but think about that conversation when I was reading An American Marriage by Tayari Jones Although it’s fictional the story is about the uestion at the heart of the anxiety Melinda and I saw that day how do you rebuild your life after prison?Our daughter Jenn recommended that we read this deeply moving story about how one incident of injustice reshapes the lives of a black couple in the South and eventually dooms their relationship Roy and Celestial are newlyweds living in Atlanta They seemed to have it all good careers a decent house and a lot of love for one another although their marriage wasn’t perfectThat all changes when Roy gets falsely accused of rape and sentenced to 12 years in prison Despite how radically this event changes their lives Jones doesn’t spend much time on it She devotes only five pages to Roy’s arrest and trial Her message is clear Roy is innocent Celestial knows it and neither fact matters He’s caught up in the system regardlessWhat Jones is interested in is how incarceration changes relationships About half of the book is letters exchanged between Roy and Celestial while he’s locked up Although they start out sweetly the letters become tense as time goes on Eventually Celestial stops writing to Roy altogether By the time he gets released from prison seven years early she’s moved on I promise this isn’t a spoiler It’s in the book’s jacket descriptionThere’s this mythical notion that you’ll wait forever for the person you love Penelope from the Odyssey is the classic example—she fights off potential suitors for 20 years waiting for her husband Odysseus to return from warIt’s a romantic idea but is it realistic? Jones doesn’t seem to think so We all like to imagine we’d be Penelope in that situation but I suspect many would end up like Celestial instead She writes to Roy “You may feel like you’re carrying a burden but I shoulder a load as well” Later she says “A marriage is than your heart it’s your life And we are not sharing ours”The fact that their marriage didn’t have a fairytale ending felt realistic Roy’s unjust incarceration—and the separation it caused—pushed on the seams that already existed in their relationship and eventually those seams broke Despite her decision to leave him Celestial is a sympathetic character You understand why she made her choice An American Marriage is fundamentally a story about how incarceration hurts than just the person locked up It’s also a reminder of how draconian our criminal justice system can be—especially for black men like Roy Once you get sucked into that system you’re marked for life Everything you were or had can disappear while you’re in prisonIn a letter to his lawyer Roy writes about how things have been difficult for Celestial but even difficult for him “I try to see her side of things but it’s hard to weep for anyone who is out in the world living their dream” he saysJones is such a good writer that you can’t help but empathize with Roy and Celestial Both have been put into a super difficult position I obviously haven’t experienced what they go through but the characters—and their reactions to the situation—ring true to meI wouldn’t say An American Marriage is a light easy read but it’s so well written that you’ll find yourself sucked into it despite the heavy subject matter If you’re looking for something thought provoking to read this winter you should add this one to your list


  2. says:

    Much of life is timing and circumstance I see that now I know it's still early but I've got a feeling this is going to be one of my favourite reads of 2018 It is a powerful subtle sad tale about the criminal justice system in America and the personal long term conseuences of its injusticesThere's a lot of discussion articles and fiction looking at race based injustice in the prison system of the United States Most of these focus on racial profiling of young black men and how juries are likely to convict a black man than a white man when presented with the same evidence An American Marriage though does something a bit different While race specifically being a black American is one of the major pillars of the novel it is not so much the focus as the stage on which this tale of love marriage and loyalty plays out Instead of looking at the injustice itself the novel turns to the far reaching conseuences of it how lives are turned upside down and relationships fall apart as a result It is driven by complex and fascinating character drama moving between the perspectives of the entirely non white cast to create a character portrait that is both broad and deepRoy is a hard working entrepreneurial black man who has clawed his way out of a working class background earned a scholarship to college and married a middle class artist Celestial Next step starting a family together Then during a trip back home to Louisiana Roy is accused and convicted of a crime he didn't commitAs the first person narrative gives way to an epistolary format during Roy's time in prison we see how Roy's incarceration drives a wedge between him and Celestial An American Marriage asks us to consider what it really means to be married and whether there comes a point when loyalty can no longer be expected We are ultimately reminded that injustices against innocent black men are injustices against many others the wives or husbands the mothers and fathers and the friends who love them Jones sheds a haunting light on the all encompassing nature of racial injustice It is extremely effectiveBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube


  3. says:

    25 starsI know this book is getting a lot of buzz and it was Oprah's Book Club pick so I had really high hopes but it didn't really work for me I started to give it 3 stars but after thinking on it I just couldn't For me a 3 star rating means that overall I enjoyed the book However this book just didn't rise to that level I'll start with what I did like I liked how the author weaved in the complexities of being a successful black American Roy was a rising business executive but because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and fit a certain description his lifemarriage was upended The first part of the book is in epistolary form where we see the letter exchanges between Celestial and Roy while he was prison In those letters you can see the slow changes in their relationship as time went on This is basically the only part of the book where I felt any semblance of a connection to the story Now for what I didn't like the characters I didn't connect to Roy or Celestial so I didn't feel invested in their story Also I understand that life and marriages can be messy and that some decisions we make aren't always cut and dry But some of the decisions that Celestial and Roy were making were nonsensical to me and not fully explained Particularly in Celestial's case toward the end of the book I didn't understand her Maybe I'm missing something Overall I didn't have a strong emotional connection to the story I'm sure many people will love this book but it wasn't for me


  4. says:

    I can’t say that I loved An American Marriage What I can say is that it made me think deeply about human nature love and of course marriage This is a thought provoking well written depth filled character study about a marriage on the brink Celestial and Roy a young couple from Atlanta have been married for just over a year when Roy is arrested and sentenced to 12 years in jail Will their marriage survive their separation or will they be able to withstand Roy’s incarceration? The bulk of the story focuses on a love triangle between Roy Celestial and Celestial’s childhood friend Andre In addition to romantic love and marriage themes of motherhood and fatherhood race class and tradition also play prominent roles Told in alternating point of views as well as through letters the devolution of Roy and Celestial’s marriage is revealed through their letters Some of the events are hard to read and at times made me a little uncomfortable This is not a pretty read nor is it one that is filled with action What it does have are three very real well drawn out characters who are struggling with both the choices that they have made and not being able to change what they cannot control I felt their pain their emotions permeate the pages and even though I didn’t always agree with them I understood their choices The ending felt authentic and while some might not like the way how things play out I was satisfied This is a credit to Jones who paints an honest picture of the characters and events that occur


  5. says:

    This book stung so hard I almost looked for the cut of it on my skinIt’s the kind of novel that sinks its teeth into you One that enkindles in you such a brief and yet so excruciating pain One that is so vivid the first glimpse of reality would shock you and you would emerge from its thrall dazed half dreaming dizzy and for a moment aching blinking parched unreal everything elsefades away One that changes you leaves you a little different by the time you are done But above all one that reminds you that humans really are so often this way—inexplicable restless unyielding and unfathomableIn sharp vivid language that dwells on ugliness and beauty in eual measure Jones explores with soul baring poignancy the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African American couple in a haunting compelling and deeply humane work of fiction There are few novels so willing to give up their souls but Jones’ sincerity sprinkles the text like seuins and her words are the skip of a stone across a lake forming ripples and ripples of emotionBeing the victim of a wrongful conviction is one of those impossible things that happen in places so impossibly far away from where we are that they might as will not exist But to Roy and Celestial it came crashing down as real as a reflection in the mirrorRoy and Celestial's life stretched out indescribably precious and sweet before them with the years laid out ahead and the choices still there to be made him as a rising corporate executive and her building a portfolio as an artist But Roy’s wrongful imprisonment was the rupture of the small brave hope growing inside their marriageMuch of the story is told through the letters Roy and Celestial send each other during his incarceration We witness as the fine grains of their relationship begin to course between their fingers We watch as they try to cling on to a kernel of hope But the years have stretched Celestial thin leaving her waiting trapped and trembling on the borders of her own life and Roy’s life was getting white around the edges and sometimes it seemed that he had no past no memories that he had been for too long on this stretch of tenebrous hissing road Neither could guess at the shape of an as yet uncharted future looming out of the fog When Roy wins his release it was all he had wanted to hear for five years But freedom had never tasted so much like ashes While Roy was despeteraly clinging to the hopeless longing for lost happiness Celestial has begun forging a new life with her childhood best friend Andre Something has been lost in the long gulf of Roy and Celestial’s separation and they don’t know whether they want it back or not“An American Marriage” is a viscerally potent exploration of a difficult marriage that has tension and fraction stemming from good people trying their best growing and changing and learning and just as often failing and screwing up or making the wrong choices Two people both crumpled and cast aside exhausted from their own efforts to become something than a conseuence and who will always be married where it counted—in the horrors they had sharedJones lures you into Roy and Celestial’s lives only to do terrible wonderful things to your head and heart Reading this book I was struck sometimes by the senseless idea that everything around me was made of glass I was afraid to breathe afraid to move Dread lanced every moment and my head was a spinning top of new and uncertain possibilities I felt my heart limping in my chest as Celestial and Roy walked the floor of their relationship like tightrope performers placing each foot gingerly in front of the other testing for weaknesses waiting for the moment when the whole thing eventually gives wayIt would’ve been so easy to call sides—choose a character and place the weight of the blame on their shoulders But Jones forces the reader to relentlessly ponder what Celestial and Roy really owe each other as “An American Marriage” corkscrews into a tighter and tighter coil With every page we see various elements of the characters’ personalities which hitherto we had only glimpsed but which had orchestrated and magnified themselves to a startling level of potency Roy and Celestial—and even Andre—had made so many mistakes that they could not find their way back through their tangle to the first one Roy had no words in their common language to explain that he is punctured and torn and needed someone to suture him back together nor did Celestial who felt herself wither a bit inside way down deep where the light never reaches and that might just be the final nail in the coffin they’ve been building between themI felt torn in some way grappled with the implications of the decisions the characters made I wanted to step outside their heads and hope I would see from some new vantage something simple and understandable But nothing about this story is supposed to be so stark or so simpleA tight ache closed around my heart for Roy who’s been robbed of something he could never get back Roy created a door between him and Celestial and he believed he could come back and knock and count on it being opened and I couldn’t fault him for letting his mind lie to him because his world was comfortable that way because it hung together better that way But I couldn’t fault Celestial for anything either I couldn’t bring myself to resent the “us” that glimmered between her and Andre Time is a funny thing—it doesn’t forgive the things that are beyond our control And life is a river that cannot be called back once it leaves its banks What had been taken from Celestial could never amount to what had been taken from Roy but is it selfishness to refuse to wait in an agony of wondering? Or is it selfishness to expect one to wait in the first place?Ultimately this is what holds steady throughout the novel Jones gives us a truth that is messy and nuanced complex and sometimes contradictory and yields no easy answersAt its core “An American Marriage” is a love story but reading this book it's hard to escape its condemnation of a deeply flawed system of justice What happened to me could happen to anybody Roy tells Andre who shoots back You think I don't know that? I been black all my life Roy might have survived a mordant injustice but the shadow fell very dark on him When justice was eventually served it was a kind of escape but it mocked freedom It was not going to bring back Roy’s lost years It was not going to change the past But it will forever define it Jones tells you that maybe it doesn’t have to define the future too Roy's present might be overlaid with past sorrow but he was free and in the end in that moment that place that perch upon the edge of the world his view went on foreverI cannot recommend this book highly enough☆ ko fi ★ blog ☆ twitter ★ tumblr ☆


  6. says:

    Update 2018 National Book Awards Fiction Another great choice pick this yearSMALL UPDATE I said I would come back and write a complete review but a few comments in here have inspired and encouraged me to perhaps leave this review alone So I’ll only add a couple of things Sharing First it’s funny what happens to our minds when we move on right away to reading other books after a deep thought provoking readIt’s like ADDING children to the family expanding our heart to love and think about each one differently but each so special Recently it’s been like a grand slam rocking hot reading explosion experienceIt started with “The Weight of Ink” by Rachel Radishwhich I still think aboutAnd THIS book which I still think aboutand now two others “Fair and Tender Ladies” by Lee Smith and“The Gunners” by Rebecca Kauffman BOTH of these two books I’m currently reading are EACH SOO GOOD it’s a race to the finish line as to which I’ll finish first as I’m now so ‘deeply’ involved in ecstasy reading both books Listening to “The Gunners” during the day reading “Fair and Tender Ladies at night and middle of the nightMy mind is swimming with wonderful feelings and thoughts and experiences of great created characters from our books Little friends in our headSo there are MANY VARIED REVIEWS on“THE AMERICAN MARRIAGE”I’m only going to add one final thoughtOpinion really I honestly believe there is something of great value in this book for women men married or single black white any nationality all legal adult ages young 20’s on up I mentioned in my little review that this book is a great ‘ examination of marriageI ALSO think it’s a great discussion whether or not to MARRY or NOT in this day and age There is ‘something’ no spoilers to pay close attention to at the beginning of this book BEFORE MARRIAGEWe’ve ALL had those experiences where our gut is warning us — something doesn’t feel right our souls don’t feel secure safe—but then as thinking beings— we’ve intellectualized the situation and let it goonly later to kick ourselves for not taking the GUT MESSAGE serious There was a ‘red flag’ moment in this storythat I knew was going to come back to ‘haunt’ and it did My heart ached at that momentThe ending of this book is also powerful and in my opinion clearly sends a messageNot only had every character been broken— but culture conditions of injustice proved to be devastating too EVERYONE WAS AFFECTED FROM THE HORRIFIC INJUSTICEbut sadly facing reality—personal problems didn’t get swept under the rug Small problems didn’t get replaced with bigger ones Brene Brown talks about learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable “The American Marriage” plays out those type of dialogues of communication Characters were practicing being comfortable with very uncomfortable communication Truthful dialogue surfaced through letters Later face to faceOriginal little review Phenomenal intimate gut wrenching storytelling Every character has been wounded Their struggles are REAL Personally I had empathy for everyone— but I can understand if readers favor one character over another There are complex uncomfortable situations throughout I could imagine how each person felt from their point of view I felt those emotions tooThis novel is definitely a ‘discussion’ bookan examination of marriage what happens when horrific circumstances literally change the direction of life? EVERYONE IS AFFECTED EVERYONE reacts differently I’ve much admiration for the wisdom —the depths — of understanding that Jones has for all the many types of relationships we have in our lives I need to get some sleep I’ll continue the rest of this review tomorrow or over the weekend


  7. says:

    Edited 920 to add My book club discussed this last night and while not everyone loved the book but no one disliked it it made for a lively and interesting discussion I'd highly recommend for book clubsI’m afraid I’m in the outlier club with this one What I liked The writing is gorgeous 4 5 stars for the beauty of the prose Plus the author writes in a way that sounds like the way real people think and talk The letters Celestial and Roy exchanged How one unfortunate tragic event unfair as it was can totally change the trajectory of your life It gives food for thought it was thought provoking with complex moral themes surrounding loyalty and marriageWhat I didn’t like The characters While I sympathized with their plight I just didn’t like them Which I can’t explain because I usually like my characters somewhat complicated and flawed Unlikability is not a deal breaker but I like what I like and often I can’t even explain why I am so turned off by some characters The plot – after the beginning I just stopped caring It felt like I was reading the script of a cheesy movie There’s a time and place for cheesy it just wasn’t what I was expecting when I went into this book The epilogue My eyes may have rolled than once I will definitely read anything else the author writes because I found this book so well written and her style so engaging but this one just didn't uite work for me It all boiled down to plot


  8. says:

    I cannot for the life of me understand why people like this book If it weren’t for Oprah loving it I honestly do not think people would buy it There was no plot and it is the most boring book I’ve ever read Basically if you read the synopsis you’ve read all the “exciting” parts and know the entire plot It’s technically an easy read but boring overall I powered through to finish it since it has so many positive reviews with the hopes that it would suddenly turn around or have an amazing ending that would make it worth reading Major disappointment


  9. says:

    An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a 2018 Algonuin Books publication Well drawn characterizations and a thought provoking and timely topic combines to make a potent blend which kept me riveted to the pages of this book Roy had done everything right is successful married to a beautiful woman living the American dream until he is falsely accused of rape and sent to prisonCelestial finds her comfortable life turned on its axis after Roy is incarcerated She remains loyal to her husband but as the years pass her life continues to move forward while Roy’s stagnates behind bars and her feelings for him begin to wane prompting her to seek comfort from another manMeanwhile lawyers are working round the clock to get Roy’s conviction overturned which miraculously after serving five years it is But Roy soon learns that easing back into his former life and resuming his marriage with Celestial is easier said than done What stands out for me in this novel are the little nuances Roy who opens the dialogue in the first chapter drew me in with his honesty and humor which was occasionally sheepish and self deprecating even though I disapproved of some of his actions Celestial was for some reason a character I found difficult to warm up to at first but upon reflection I think her character may have gone through the most productive growth of all Celestial’s needs and expectations are different from Roy’s ideals some of which can be attributed to malefemale roles and expectations in a marriage and others to their own individuality But throw in a HUGE live altering test of the marriage and it will either strengthen or fall apart Which way did things go for Roy and Celestial?The other timely topics explored have to do with racism and mass incarceration Prison life is fraught with danger and loneliness and of course Roy missed his former life but it was simple things things we so easily take for granted that makes the bleakness of his situation come alive Despite their flaws and each party has their fair share of them they were basically ordinary people thrown in an extraordinary circumstance and left to cope with those circumstances as best they could They were both human with real needs desires hopes and dreams Both made excuses both played the blame game but both have a bond together they find hard to break free of The epistolary parts of the novel were well done which exposes both the closeness and the awkwardness of the marriage but also the way time robbed them of the growth marriages need to survive The secondary characters were added depth and conflict and were also very well drawn and eually affected by the outcome of Roy and Celetial's marriageWhile the book is not filled with action or suspense or even despite the heaviness of the situation is it melodramatic with one exception that to be honest almost had to happen to break the tension that boiled to the surface There were a few tense moments that made me pretty uncomfortable but mostly the author just allowed the characters to flow to take charge and dictate the pacing This approach sounds understated and maybe even underwhelming but this story was incredibly absorbing and I have to say the conclusion was surprising but at the same time not Despite some misgivings and mixed emotions about how the characters ended up overall I think they may be exactly where they need to be both as individuals and as a couple It may be tempting to take sides but I can’t say I would do better or worse in that same situation but I did struggle with passing judgments on occasion Either way this is a well written examination of relationships and human foibles and how otherwise normal well intentioned good people face adversity and come out on the other end of it changed for better or worse 4 stars


  10. says:

    Is it possible that in mid February I’ve already read my favorite book of 2018? An American Marriage was outstanding Not only did I immediately become hooked and stay invested in the story the uality of the writing was pure excellence A newlywed couple Roy and Celestial are early on in their marriage when Roy is sentenced to 12 years in jail for a crime he did not commit This changes the course of their lives and feelings and the story unfolds from here Roy’s conviction is overturned 5 years into his sentence too changing things once again ”But home isn’t where you land; home is where you launch You can’t pick your home any than you can choose your family In poker you get five cards Three of them you can swap out but two are yours to keep family and native land”There were different points in the book where I disliked all three of the primary characters however I was so engrossed I had to keep reading to find out how this story would play out I feel like there was excess in trying to frame Celestial as an independent woman though Outside of a professional sense I didn’t find her to be that independent at all Her actions to me definitely indicated otherwise I liked that while Roy and Celestial were both adults their parents still played a central role in the story I also enjoyed the many authentic Atlanta references throughout the book ”But how you feel love and how you understand love are two different things Human emotion is beyond comprehension smooth and uninterrupted like an orb made of blown glass” An American Marriage portrays realistic behaviors and actions people experience themselves and through others and this is why I enjoyed it so immensely While I just didn’t want it to end I really liked the ending


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