An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage

Named an Oprah’s Book Club Selection.Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercel...

Details An American Marriage

TitleAn American Marriage
Release DateFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Cultural, African American

Reviews An American Marriage

  • Emily May
    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 consequences of its injustices.There'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 ra...
  • Julie
    An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a 2018 Algonquin 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 prison.Celestial finds her comfortable life turned on its axis after Ro...
  • Larry H
    4.5 stars, rounded up. For the latest resurrection of her book club, Oprah chose Tayari Jones' latest novel, An American Marriage. Raw, powerful, full of searing emotion, this is a book which speaks not only to the relationship between man and woman, husband and wife, but it touches on the bond between parents and their children, even in adulthood, and the mercurial nature of life."Love makes a place in your life, it makes a place for itself in y...
  • Diane S ☔
    Roy has done the best he could with the life he was given. Now married to Celestial, a young woman with dreams of her own, are traveling to meet his parents for the first time. The visit will prove less than successful, and a terrible miscarriage of Justice will occur that will detail their young lives and marriage.These are characters to that one wants to root for, wants things to turn out well for them. Of course, life seldom works that way, th...
  • Brandice
    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 quality 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 ...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    If you can, read this without knowing anything about it. It won't be destroyed if you know the hook, but the first section will lose a bit of its grip and its grip is fantastic. (Yes, this includes the summary at the top of the Goodreads page. Sorry.)This is a book about marriage and the very specific kind of loyalty it asks us to give. Is that loyalty a fair thing to ask? Is it right? What circumstances excuse breaking this bond? Celestial and R...
  • Scarlett
    How do you move on in your marriage after it has been put to a full stop? How do you draw from everything it encapsulated till now without going insane when that is all you have left?American Marriage is an intimate portrait of love in a newly formed marriage that is soon faced with a tragic event. Against all odds and time, this is a very difficult thing to endure, not to mention move on with and overcome as a married couple. Marriage might be a...
  • Julie Ehlers
    An American Marriage is one of those novels where everything just works. Vivid and well-developed characters, a good use of setting, interesting story, enough plot twists to keep things moving, timely and well-placed commentary on several aspects of life in the United States. I went back and forth on how I wanted this to turn out; it seemed like everyone had a good point! I appreciated that the author herself refused to take sides and refused to ...
  • Shannon
    I feel like this book being selected for Oprah’s Book Club got me off the hook for writing a review. I write reviews to make people aware of books that I think should be getting more attention than they are. It’s clear this book isn’t going to have that problem. So I'll keep this brief.While the marriage of Roy and Celestial is at the center of this novel, several marriages are presented. Blended families, broken marriages, and marriages th...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I liked but didn't love this story of a marriage in the newly crowned Oprah Book Club pick (I had started it the day before it was announced!)Liked - the setting (Atlanta for the most part) and how the characters are products of the complex class system of Atlanta neighborhoods, ideas of the "people you come from" and what that means or doesn't mean, the realistic portrayal of a marriage and what happens when a major challenge comes along, the lo...
  • Ron Charles
    “An American Marriage” opens early in the marriage of Roy Hamilton and Celestial Davenport. Roy is an ambitious, handsome man with a bit of a wandering eye, but he’s devoted to Celestial and determined to support her the way her wealthy parents did. Celestial, meanwhile, is drawn to Roy’s sexy demeanor but suspicious of his fidelity. Although she’s grateful for his encouragement of her nascent art business, she’s sensitive to his cond...
  • Ashley
    2.5 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 more 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 Ame...
  • Marialyce
    4 sad beautiful written starsSome say the hardest job in the world is being a parent, while others say the hardest job is being married. Working together for a lifetime can bring a couple much happiness or it can be a wedge that grows deeper each day and festers until that marriage is over. However, in the case of Roy and Celestrial, newly married, their life takes a most unhappy turn when Roy is accused of rape. Roy is innocent, but Roy is black...
  • Joshunda Sanders
    It's hard to say exactly what I love most about Tayari's work and she's one of those writers that I have been reading now for a period of time that is hard for me to capture. This is weird because I keep really good track of time being the Capricorn that I am, ruled by Saturn, and completely obsessed with the timing of things. Reading An American Marriage, though, ultimately revealed to me the essence of what makes Tayari's work special and what ...
  • La Tonya Jordan
    When your life is going up and you can see the tip of the mountain, all hell breaks loose and changes everything in a split second. This is what happened to Roy and Celestial Hamilton. Her doll business was starting to garner attention: he was a rising star in marketing. In a blink of a second he was charged with rape in Eloe, Louisiana and sentenced to twelve years in prison.Celestial began the difficult task of being a supportive wife while sti...
  • Ali Edwards
    I read this one without knowing anything about it because it was recommended highly by a friend (and then I saw it popping up everywhere). This is an emotional, real, raw and very well written story that is different from what I've been reading lately. I love being surprised. Beautiful, compelling writing that really gets to the heart of complicated human relationships. A line I loved : "But mostly my life is good, only it's a different type of g...
  • Ashley Gallegos
    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 t...
  • Marjorie
    Roy and Celestial have been married for about a year and are thinking of finding a bigger house and starting a family. Roy has a good job and Celestial is doing well creating her artistic dolls. Their love for each other is strong. All of that falls to pieces when Roy is convicted of a crime he’s innocent of. Separated by this unjust verdict, Celestial is finding it hard to hold on to a marriage that hadn’t yet had time to “take”. She com...
  • Yalonda
    I read it in about 24 hours. By the end of the Epilogue, I was wiping tears. Being an almost-divorced woman, I wasn't sure how I'd feel reading An American Marriage, but I'm so glad I did. It swept me up in the first few pages and still hasn't let me go. Like I told Tayari: this is one hell of a book. I would sit Jones's An American Marriage and Victor LaValle's The Changeling side by side; they resonate well together. An American Marriage comes ...
  • Sara
    I didn't want to stop reading this until I made it to the end. I really enjoy Jones' style; her words are beautiful and approachable, but not for lack of depth. The intensity is in the story, not necessarily in the characters themselves, who are flawed, if at times two-dimensional. Perhaps this book is as much social commentary as it is an engaging tale of love and marriage. Above all, I am rapt by Jones' honesty and magnanimity. I get the impres...
  • Sue
    This was an outstanding novel. It's the first book that I've read by this author but it won't be the last - in fact I just ordered one of her earlier books. This is a book that will make you smile and make you cry because you will be so invested into the lives of the two main characters. Celestial and Roy are so well written - flaws and all - that you feel like you know them.Celestial and Roy have been married just over a year. They are both succ...
  • Janet
    *Just read this. Do not read the jacket copy. Do not read a synopsis. Just trust me.*
  • Cynthia Shannon
    This book was an emotional rollercoaster. The first part - especially the letters between the two main characters - managed to capture so much in a few pages. Normally multiple POVs get on my nerves, but in this book it helped me empathize with every character. Beautifully written.
  • Gabriella
    Tayari Jones is speaking at my library on Tuesday, and I rushed to get this book in hopes of being finished in time for her talk. After finishing, it’s clear I could have waited, but I’m so glad I didn’t! An American Marriage lends itself to being read in a night, and I’m already itching to re-read it on Monday. I’ve seen this one being compared to Sing, Unburied, Sing, another fantastic novel by one of my favorite southern writers, whi...
  • Kate Olson
    Thanks to @algonquinbooks @brklynmac for this review copy!Friends, there is a REASON this book was chosen as a Book of the Month Club pick, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, AND the Belletrist February selection. It is a fast read that I found to be simultaneously heartbreaking and hopeful. It covers the brutality of being Black in the American South in a searing way, as well as the horrors of mass incarceration, but it truly truly is about marri...
  • Kimya Nilsen
    I had high hopes at the start of this book. The set up was intriguing. A couple that had only been married a few years, still working out the kinks in their marriage, is put to a difficult test. The husband is sent to jail for a crime he did not commit. A significant portion of the book is filled with the letters they wrote to each other while he was in prison. That is the best part of the book. The progression of their separate lives solely thro...
  • Wilhelmina Jenkins
    All I want to do is leap back into this book and live with these characters a little longer. What an amazing book! Wonderful, complex characters in an impossible situation. I always admire the way that Tayari Jones creates a distinct, recognizable voice for each of her characters and she outdoes herself here. There isn't a superficially developed character in this book and the plot line is believable and compelling. So good!
  • Lisa
    I was prepared to rate this three stars because I liked it and was entertained by it, but the further into the story, I had more feelings connected to each of these characters and their situation. Their marriage felt like something I was invested in and involved in. Earlier on I didn't feel much and thought the story was lacking that feeling, but it was developing in the story and in me. Funny that I could never remember the actual title. Was it ...