Book Review: American Marriage by 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 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 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 resume their life together.

This stirring love story is a profoundly 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 deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward-with hope and pain-into the future.


Queenie’s Review:

 Celestial was the up-and-coming artist and Roy a small career man. They were married and lived in Atlanta.  Andre was Celestial’s best friend. This was a love triangle. The couple had it going on a decent home, good careers, and they loved one another. Roy got accused of rape and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. But Roy is innocent. The chapters were written in letter form. After all, these years were what was in prison Celestial moves on. The characters were fully developed with wants and their needs. The love of family, a father who cared about a son that wasn’t his, and a young woman making a life-changing decision. The characters were rich and tone in the story.

This book is a hard read but a very enjoyable one. It was a powerful but sad tale about the criminal justice system in America and its Injustice.

 This love triangle story is romantic love, motherhood, marriage, race, fatherhood, mass incarceration, and class. The story is moving and an emotional one –  a minute you’re happy, the next minute you’re mad, angry, sad, and all in-between. I can relate to the book. The story is going to be with me for a long time. This book was well-written, sometimes I read into my Kindle, fell on my head, and other times I didn’t want the story to end. This book was told through different characters’ points of view. I like how the story consists of letters.  The pacing of the story was good and flowed smoothly. The story was sprinkled with wisdom and metaphors.

I felt their pain in the pages which were very powerful. The character’s point of view is very real,  argumentative, and honest. The dialogue was realistic, sharp, honest, and energy. The author’s writing was concise, on point,, clear, and sharp,

 My favorite part was the letters between Celestial and Roy. They filled the holes that were in the story. 

Will their marriage survive their separation or will be able to withstand Roy’s imprisonment?

 I recommend this story of love and injustice to everyone. I give this book a four-star rating.

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/2YZavtk


2 thoughts on “Book Review: American Marriage by Tayari Jones”

  1. Yes,
    This story is very relative to today. Mass incarceration of African American men is one of the major factors contributing to single parent households in black communities. Very well written with palpable characters and situations.


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