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An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel
An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel
An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel
Ebook355 pages6 hours

An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

3.5/5

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About this ebook

Written by Scribd Editors

The embodiment of the American Dream, Celestial and Roy are just entering an exciting time in their lives. Roy is a young executive, and Celestial is starting an exciting art career, but they're suddenly ripped apart when Roy is arrested on charges for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. When he's sentenced to twelve years, Celestial finds comfort in a childhood friend, Andre, who provides her a solid foundation after Roy is taken from her.

After five years, her love for Roy has dissipated, and when he's suddenly released after his conviction is overturned, Roy expects to return to their old lives just as they were. Separated by forces they could never have anticipated or controlled, Celestial and Roy find themselves the center of a story of hope and pain.

Tayari Jones does an excellent job, bringing to life the fear and pain of Celestial and Roy's life and providing sympathy to both characters. As the two of them do their best to pick up the pieces of their lives after so much turmoil, An American Marriage reveals the heart of its story on reckoning with the past and moving forward.

Editor's Note

Award winner…

Tayari Jones’ explosive bestseller won the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction. “This is an exquisitely intimate portrait of a marriage shattered by racial injustice. It is a story of love, loss and loyalty, the resilience of the human spirit painted on a big political canvas — that shines a light on today’s America,” said Professor Kate Williams in the Prize’s announcement post.

LanguageEnglish
Release dateFeb 6, 2018
ISBN9781616207601
An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel
Author

Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones was born and raised in southwest Atlanta. A graduate of Spelman College, she is the author of three novels, including Silver Sparrow, an NEA Big Read selection. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Radcliffe Insitute for Advanced Study, and the United States Artist Foundation. She is on the MFA faculty at Rutgers-Newark University.

Reviews for An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club)

Rating: 3.4801488833746896 out of 5 stars
3.5/5

1,612 ratings177 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    One of the things I loved about this novel was the POV. Each chapter is told from a specific character's point of view, but in addition to that, there are sections that are letters written from one character to another. It's unique and offered a deeper understanding into their motives and relationships. The story line is real and harsh. Definitely not a light read, but very good.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    A downbeat romance? A romantic tragedy? It’s hard to pin this one down. If anything it reminded me of Gone Girl with its twisty plot (and selfish protagonists). All the characters seem to be in the wrong and hard done by all at once - but I guess that’s marriage, eh guys?
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    An American Marriage offers a variety of marriages that are both common and remarkable at the same time. It is about Celestial and Roy’s story, but also the couple is surrounded by family members with marriage stories of their own. Marriages that end in infidelity, divorce or death; marriages that begin in less-than-ideal circumstances, marriages that offer new beginnings, relationships that look like marriages but for that piece of paper.

    "He used to say, ‘Accident of birth is the number one predictor of happiness.’ Once Daddy took me to the emergency room at Grady, so I could see how poor black folks are treated when they got sick. Gloria was mad when I came home, eight years old, shook to the bone. But he said, ‘I don’t mind living in Cascade Heights, but she needs to know the whole picture.’ Gloria was furious. ‘She is not a sociological test case. She is our daughter.’ Daddy said, ‘Our daughter needs to know things, she needs to know how fortunate she is. When I was her age . . .’ My mother cut him off. ‘Stop it, Franklin. This is how progress works. You have it better than your daddy and I have it better than mine. Don’t treat her like she stole something."
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Excellently written love story. Jones captures emotions and the trials and tribulations of love in her novel that left me pondering the depths of thought and experience.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    This was one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2018. I wasn’t sure what to expect but in the end it did not disappoint.

    Celestial and Roy are a couple who are dealt a terrible hand. Having only been married a year and a half, Roy is literally torn from their bed and sentenced to 12 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. It is difficult enough to make a marriage work let alone when one of you is in jail – and wrongfully accused.

    This was a tough read. There are a lot of subjects I’m ignorant on, and mass incarceration is one of them. In the book I didn’t understand why there wasn’t a rape kit, DNA testing, etc. How was Roy so easily committed for something he didn’t do? I still don’t know if that’s the norm, or if that’s just the norm if you’re black and accused. Either way it’s disgusting and disgraceful.

    My heart broke right along with Roy’s and Celestials’ and this book had me crying less than 100 pages in.

    I loved Jones’ writing. It was truthful, and visceral, sharp tongued and didn’t sugar coat anything. I particularly loved reading the letters Roy wrote and received to and from Celestial, and the others in his life. It was a unique and truthful way to communicate to the reader what was going on. They weren’t able to talk face to face every day, and through letters things can get misinterpreted. I liked that that was included.

    I don’t want to give away any spoilers on how it ends. I think it’s important not to know what happens, going into it. I will say the actions of Roy and Celestial are very believable. These are two imperfect humans trying to survive through what was dealt to them. I don’t think you can blame each of them for doing, acting, and saying what they did.

    Although this book has a lot of heartbreak in it, I do think this story is one, ultimately of hope.

    I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
    This review was originally posted on Books For The Living.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    An American Marriage has been causing quite a stir lately, but our group could not summon the fervour reflected on-line with this highly acclaimed novel.Most of us could not go past a 5 or 6 out of 10, stating frustration with characters and storyline, and the weak plot seemed to lead nowhere. It seemed everyone struggled with connecting either emotionally or intellectually with the characters.The few positives included easy to read with a real rhythm and voice to it, limited characters to follow and the author seemed to purposely to not play the race/discrimination card (not to its full potential anyway). We discussed whether it was for cultural reasons that we had trouble connecting with the story. Jones wrote her characters in such a way that most of us forgot they were Black Americans throughout the story. Was this her intention? We think so. There are many novels out there that set the whole storyline on racial discrimination and the injustice of such hate, but Jones seemed to want to tell a different story … that of a young marriage and its struggle to manage through separation and turmoil. So we certainly give her points for this.We always hope to learn something from a novel and in this case we believe we have. In trying to bond with Celestial, Roy and Andre, we all found ourselves looking for a way they could make things work. Their situation is far from anything we are likely to experience ourselves, but in reading their story we feel there is more empathy and understanding in our selves than before. And much of this positive feedback comes not so much from the book, but from our discussion. Thank you ladies for another great conversation!