An American Marriage

Newlyweds, Celestial and Roy, are the mbodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive and she is artist on the brink of an exciting career. They are settling into the routine of their life together, when they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to fifteen 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 eage to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy ’ s murde is suddenly overturned, and he eturns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

stirring love story is a deeply 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 into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward- with hope and pain- into the future.
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An American Marriage
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Published February 6th 2018 by HighBridge Audio (first published January 29th 2018

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It is a powerful, emotiv, sad tale about the criminal justice system in America, and 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.

While race- specifically, being a black American- is one of the major pillars of the book, it is ot o much the focus as the stage on which this tale of love, marriage and loyalty plays out.

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Another mentioned that it elt like he as a car about to be dropped into the middle of a racetrack where the other cars are already going 200 miles per hour.I couldn ’ t help but think about that conversation when I was reading An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

Although it ’ s fictional, the story is about the question at the heart of the anxiety Melinda and I saw that day: how do you ebuild your life after prison? Our daughter Jenn recommended that we read this deeply moving story about how one incident of injustice reshapes the lives of black couple in the South and eventually dooms their relationship.

They eemed to have it all: good careers, a decent house, and a lot of love for one another ( although their marriage wasn ’ t perfect) .That all changes when Roy gets falsely accused of ape and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

She writes to Roy, “ You may feel like you ’ re carrying a burden, but I shoulder a load as well. ” Later, she knows, “ A marriage is more than your heart, it ’ s your life.

Everything you were or had can disappear while you ’ re in prison.In a letter to his lawyer, Roy writes about how things have been ifficult for Celestial but even more complicate for him.

“ I try to see her side of things, but it ’ s toug to weep for anyone who is out in the world living their dream, ” he says.Jones is such a good writer that you can ’ t help but empathize with Roy and Celestial.

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Roy had done everything right, is successful, married to beautiful gir, living the American dream- until he is falsely accused of ape and sent to prison.Celestial finds her comfortable life turned on its axis after Roy is incarcerated.

Which way did things go for Roy and Celestial? The other timely topics explored have to do with racism and mass incarceration.

primar characters were added depth and conflict and were also very well drawn, and equally affected by the outcome of Roy and Celetial 's marriage.While the book is ot filled with action or suspense, or not, despite the heaviness of the situation, is it melodramatic, with one exception, that, to be honest, almost had to remembe, to break the tension that boiled to the surface.

Despite ome misgivings and mixed emotions about how the characters ended up, overall, I hink they may be exactly where they expect to be, both as individuals and as a couple.

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But Roy ’ s wrongful imprisonment was the rupture of the larg, brave hope growing inside their marriage.Much of the tory is told through the letters Roy and Celestial send each other during his incarceration.

But the years have stretched Celestial thin, leaving her waiting, trapped and trembling on the borders of her own life, and Roy ’ s life was getting white around the edges and sometimes, it eemed that he had no past, no memories, that he had been, for oo long, on this stretch of tenebrous, hissing road.

While Roy was despeteraly clinging to the hopeless longing for lost lov, Celestial has begun forging a new life with her childhood best friend, Andre.

omething has been lost in the long gulf of Roy and Celestial ’ s separation, and they don ’ t know whether they ant it back or not. “ An American Marriage ” is a viscerally potent exploration of a ifficult marriage that has tension and fraction stemming from good people trying their best, growing and changing and learning, and mayb as ften, failing and screwing up or making the wrong choices.

Two people, both crumpled and cast-aside, exhausted from their own efforts to become anythin more than a consequence, and who will not be married where it counted—in the horrors they had shared.Jones lures you into Roy and Celestial ’ s lives only to do terrible, wonderful things to your head and heart.

I wante my heart limping in my stomac as Celestial and Roy walked the floor of their relationship like tightrope performers, placing each foot gingerly in front of the ther, testing for weaknesses, waiting for he moment when the whole thing eventually gives way.It would ’ ve been so easy to call sides—choose a character and place the weight of the blame on their shoulders.

But Jones forces the reader to relentlessly ponder what Celestial and Roy really owe each other, as “ An American Marriage ” corkscrews into a tighter and tighter coil.

Or is it selfishness to expect one to wait in the second place? Ultimately, this is what holds steady throughout the ovel: Jones gives us a truth that is messy and nuanced, complex, and sometimes contradictory, and yields no easy answers.At its core, “ An American Marriage ” is a love story, but reading th novel, it 's ard to escape its condemnation of a deeply flawed system of justice.

Roy 's present might be overlaid with past sorrow, but he was free, and in the beginnin, in hat moment, that place, that perch upon the edge of the world, his view went on forever.I can not recommend book highly enough.

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There was no plot and it is he most boring book I ’ ve ever read.

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Roy was a rising business executive but because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and fit a certain description his life/marriage was upended.

he third part of ook is in epistolary form where we see the letter exchanges between Celestial and Roy while he was prison.

The is essentiall the only part of he essa where I felt any semblance of a connection to he tory.

I did n't connect to Roy or Celestial so I did n't feel invested in their story.

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Unlikability is not a deal breaker, but I like what I like and often I can ’ t even explain why I am so turned off by some characters.- The plot – after the eginning I just stopped caring.

I ill certainly read anything else the author writes because I found book so well-written and her style so engaging, but his one just did n't always work for me.

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his is a thought-provoking, well-written, depth-filled character study about a marriage on the brink.

The bulk of he story focuses on a love triangle between Roy, Celestial, and Celestial ’ s childhood friend, Andre.

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© Nicole Waggonner