An American Marriage

An American Marriage

A Novel

Book - 2018 | First edition.
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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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781616201340
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

PAST READ: March 7th (Brookwood) & 16th (Shute Park) - Hillsborrowers Book Group

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 ... Read More »

One of 5 finalists announced February 20, 2019.

On Michelle Obama's nightstand, 12/6/18

From the critics

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Sep 11, 2019

It took me a while to finish this book; simply because it was one I kept putting down. Though the writing is easy to read, I felt it too simple. There wasn’t very much character development.. the only character I truly empathized with was Big Roy. I liked the idea of the letters, but thought it could’ve been executed better. It wasn’t a bad read, but it didn’t meet my expectations (from the popularity of it - even a recommendation from Oprah’s bookclub). Important message that had a lot of potential, but better executed in other books. 3.5/5 stars.

Sep 09, 2019

Made it about 100 pages and was over it. Just cannot stand the back and forth vague letter writing between the husband and wife after he's in jail. Hello.... DNA?? Seriously! This is NOT set in the 80's. Fiction for sure.

liljables Aug 28, 2019

I just finished my second read-through of An American Marriage; my first was quite a quick dash while on vacation in the spring, but this time around, I really savored Tayari Jones' writing and immersed myself in the narrative in preparation for our Book Club discussion.

Okay, so I know I liked this novel more on the second go, but I can't exactly articulate why. I still don't particularly like any of the characters; for the most part, their views of gender roles and marriage are gratingly opposite to mine. I think the first two sections are much more compelling than the last, and I can see how the last third could leave a bad taste in your mouth (as it did in mine). But there's magic in those first two sections, and I wish we got more of it!

I'll have to chalk my enjoyment up to the writing - I often found my self reading and re-reading particular lines, and I made notes galore. There's not much plot, but Tayari Jones handles the character development masterfully, creating subtle yet powerful portraits of Celestial, Roy, and Andre.

mazinwhistler Aug 15, 2019

I picked this book up not knowing much about it except that it is this month's Book Club selection at my library. I loved it! I'm a quite fast reader by regular standards but I really motored through this book. It is written from the viewpoints of three characters (Roy, Celestial and Andre) and I love this style when it goes from chapter to chapter picking up the story from another perspective (keeps you on your toes!). The story itself is so interesting and challenges you to think about relationships and the many forks in the road that life poses us with and how these relationships evolve depending on circumstances. A worthwhile read!

Aug 12, 2019

As a writer myself, I felt humbled by the narrative power of this author, Tayari Jones. As this novel, listed for the September selection of the Oakville Library Central Branch bookclub, I was lucky to get an advance on my reading. After completing the novel, I'm inspired to purchase my own copy for the quality of story-telling felt moving and magnificent in its reality and edification to any wordsmith. I knew I had to own it, to revisit it.

The chapters are narrated by the significant players, each with their perspective on the on-going situation, so the reader gets to know them well, and feel for them. For me, this novel was extremely poignant as these characters share their points-of-view as to how circumstances of life acted on them.

Simple yet profound, this story touched my emotions deeply and at the same time, I had no anticipation of how things would turn out which is quite a feat for a writer to pull off. The readers can guess all they want. They are held in suspense until the end. In this deep and spiritual work, Ms. Jones develops the emotion, and there's plenty of it. I loved every second I spent reading this novel. It affected me intensely; for that, I am grateful, and perhaps, a bit wiser.

Aug 05, 2019

Good read!!!!!!

Aug 05, 2019

While this wasn't one of my favorite reads, it was beautifully written and at times, incredibly powerful. I really felt for Roy, and found his character to be impactful and we'll developed. I felt some other characters fell a bit flat though. Overall, it was a good exploration of the impacts of incarceration on both a man and his family.

Jul 06, 2019

A meaty, satisfying read. Ray and Celestial have been married for less than 2 years when he's incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit. Celestial has no doubts about his innocence, which is what made her consequent actions unforgivable to me. I would certainly try other titles by Jones.

Groszerita Jul 02, 2019

This is a complicated book. Jones writes very well and often is poetic.

Jun 27, 2019

I'm surprised some readers found the book flat and unconvincing. On the contrary, I thought the novel was beautifully written. The author painted a picture of a complex and emotional marriage that expresses contemporary challenges. The prose are beautiful; much of the description is richly worded and thoughtfully expressed. It was very gripping.

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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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