An American Marriage

An American Marriage

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
1616201347
9781616208776
1616208775
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 24 cm

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From Library Staff

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.

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AndreaG_KCMO Jun 30, 2020

"Love is not love/ Which alters when it alteration finds...O no! it is an ever-fixed mark/ That looks on tempests and is never shaken..." In my former life as a teacher, Sonnet 116 was my exemplar of figurative language and emotional intensity. The poem is beautiful to read aloud, its a... Read More »

“Celestial and Roy are newly married professionals leaning in to a bright future when Roy is convicted of a crime he did not commit. This is not a heroes vs. villains tale with a tidy resolution. It is a complicated, messy, moving, and thought-provoking story about love, family, and the wide-reac... Read More »

"This is Oprah's most recent Book Club pick, so you know you it's gonna be good. But it's not merely good; it's great! I read 100 pages non-stop the first time I picked it up - the story is so compelling and the characters' insights make you want to keep reading to see if their marriage ... Read More »

This is not a heroes vs. villains tale with a tidy resolution. It is a complicated, messy, moving, and thought-provoking story about love, family, and the wide-reaching effects of incarceration. Book clubs get ready!”  — Jennifer Alexander, St. Louis County Library, St. Louis, MO


From the critics


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t
TLC_253
Mar 29, 2021

The premise of this book - looking at the progression of a marriage impacted by incarceration - is intriguing, but once I had finished I felt a little let down. I had trouble caring about a relationship when from the start it's clear it wasn't solid. While I found the prose pleasing, there were some plot holes (like, no DNA test as part of a rape case?) that felt distracting. All in all, I thought it was good, but not great.

n
notAnn2000
Mar 23, 2021

Interesting story.

n
notAnn2000
Mar 23, 2021

This book was interesting.

d
Dee_BPL
Feb 25, 2021

Highly recommend!!

This was a good, fast, entertaining read.

j
jesskadoll
Aug 21, 2020

I had heard rave reviews on this book, and found it mediocre. I couldn't love or get connected to any of the characters. Although the story line was great, it was just an average read for me.

a
alecbussott
Aug 17, 2020

One of the most compelling reads I have encountered. This book will have you frustrated at one moment and elated at the next. A great examination of race and marriage in the US.

AndreaG_KCMO Jun 30, 2020

"Love is not love/ Which alters when it alteration finds...O no! it is an ever-fixed mark/ That looks on tempests and is never shaken..." In my former life as a teacher, Sonnet 116 was my exemplar of figurative language and emotional intensity. The poem is beautiful to read aloud, its aspirations daunting, even unattainable.

Tayari Jones's love story [and social commentary] is tragic because the characters pursue Shakespeare's lofty ideals but are relegated to reality. After Roy is wrongly imprisoned, Celestial's letters convey her ongoing love and loyalty to him. As years pass, she must quietly grapple with her fading feelings, the shame of accepting the relationship's end, and the complications caused by Roy's early release.

Each character's perspective is relatable, authentic, and causes the reader to question whether love can and should always be born out "even to the edge of doom."

kreedDCL Jun 20, 2020

Racial injustice and false imprisonment test the limits of what a relationship can endure.

JCLHeatherM Jun 10, 2020

Beautifully well written and packed with emotion, heartbreak, and injustice, Jones invites readers to examine the marriage of Roy and Celestial, two newlyweds barely into their second year of marriage when they are ripped apart by an unjust legal system that deems Roy a criminal. Facing a 12-year sentence, Roy and Celestial struggle to maintain their relationship and are facing an uncertain future when Roy is released back into society seven years early. Rather than portray a rosy ending, Jones promotes realism, examining the ties that bind us and the choices that we all make

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adicksonarguello
Jan 29, 2021

"Much of life is timing and circumstance - I see that now."

ArapahoeTina Feb 20, 2020

I don’t believe that blood makes a family; kin is the circle you create, hands held tight.

ArapahoeTina Feb 20, 2020

Marriage is between two people. There is no studio audience.

ArapahoeTina Feb 20, 2020

There should be a word for this, the way it feels to steal something that’s already yours.

a
abbi_g
Dec 27, 2018

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

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wiseallison1
Dec 06, 2018

wiseallison1 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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