An American Marriage: A Novel
OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION
One of the most anticipated novels of 2018 according toEntertainment Weekly* Goodreads *Esquire*Elle*Cosmopolitan *BBC*Huffington Post*Bustle*Southern Living*Newsday*Bookish*Nylon* iBooks Store
“Transcendent . . . Triumphant . . . Gorgeous.”—Elle
“A stunning epic love story . . . An exquisite, timely, and powerful novel that feels both
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 racial-profiling of young black men, and how juries ...more
I 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 American. Roy was a rising business executive but ...more
This is a thought-provoking, well-written, depth-filled character study about a marriage on the brink.
Celestial and Roy, a young couple from Atlanta, have been married for just over a year when Roy is arrested and sentenced to 12 years in jail. Will their marriage survive their separation or will they be able to withstand Roy’s incarceration? The ...more
It’s the kind of novel that sinks its teeth into you. One that enkindles in you such a brief and yet so excruciating pain. One that is so vivid the first glimpse of reality would shock you, and you would emerge from its thrall dazed, half dreaming, dizzy, and for a moment, aching, blinking, parched, unreal, everything else…fades away. One that changes you, leaves you a little different by the time you are done. But above all, ...more
Another great choice pick this year!!!
SMALL UPDATE: I said I would come back and write a more complete review... but a few comments in here have inspired and encouraged me ... to perhaps leave this review alone.
So.., I’ll only add a couple of things.
Sharing First: it’s funny - what happens to our minds when we move on right away to reading other books after a deep thought- provoking read...
It’s like ADDING more children to the family - expanding our ...more
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 Roy is incarcerated. She remains loyal to her ...more
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 unfolds from here. Roy’s conviction is overturned 5 ...more
I’m afraid I’m in the outlier club with this one.
What I liked:
- The writing is gorgeous. 4-5 stars for the beauty of the prose. Plus the author writes in a way that sounds like the way real people think and talk
- The letters Celestial and Roy exchanged
- How one unfortunate tragic event, ...more
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, things change, circumstances beyond ones control ...more
I look a little funny on my pogo stick (yes, this is a pogo stick kind of book) since I have just one sock on, but I have my reasons, really I do. The reason is that there was a slump for me in the middle of the story, so that one sock just held onto my foot like nobody’s business. But it was a short-lived slump, and the beginning and the end of the book are so insanely powerful, the other sock almost flew off my other foot. Since ...more
This story follows Roy and Celestial, a young newlywed couple who have a passionate and impetuous relationship – loving deeply and arguing stubbornly. They are from different “worlds”, but have found an explosive love and connection with one another. Less than two years after getting ...more
The novel concerns a married couple, Roy and Celestial, who live a fairly normal life ...more
One of the things I liked the most about this novel is that a portion of the book is comprised of letters, mostly between Roy while in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and his wife Celestial. Letter writing seems like it’s from a bygone time and I never feel as if e-mail and certainly not texts adequately reflect the intimate picture of ourselves that a hand written letter does. This is not just about the intimate look at this one relationship, but it’s about their families and their pasts. ...more
Audiobook performed by Sean Crisden & Eisa Davis 9h
I really enjoyed the performance of these narrators as they breathe life into Tayari Jones' story. They definitely kept me riveted to my seat as the triple narrative between Celestial, Roy, and Andre unfolded. Given the title, the central story really is about this couple's marriage-their courtship and all that comes after. It was all the family relationships that convinced me this book was a ...more
I'm reading this Contemporary as part of my "Goodreads Reading Challenge" and it's not something I would usually have picked up but I understand why it's so popular.
Newlyweds struggle with their lives as Roy is falsy accused of raping a woman. The book deals with love, race, justice (or really injustice) and will leave you devastated.
Writing- 4 stars
Characters- 3 stars
Language- 3 stars
Plot/Concept- 2 stars
Ugh! Those people exhaust me. Only the parents and Davina were likable. Can't forget about the Uncle who helped Roy. I didn't like Celestial's mother either.
Celestial and Roy's marriage is just breaking ground as a young seedling when the earth ravages the soil and the fissures play havoc with such gentle growth. Roy has been accused of a rape that he did not commit. His kindness to a down-and-out woman has spun around on him. No matter how many times that Celestial recants the story that Roy was with her all night, the court hears otherwise. Roy will serve his ...more
This was beautiful. This was a slow roil. A story told with realistic dialogue. A story littered with metaphors. A story sprinkled with wisdom.
I listened to the audio and it was sublime...so gorgeous were the cadence and rhythm that I was often mesmerized, wrapped up in the story and swept away by what felt like a foreign language and a different culture. Highly recommend. 4.75 stars
Marriage, on its own is a complicated venture. Throw in anything else and Kapow! Everyone always says that first year of marriage is the hardest. For Celestial and Roy, nothing will prepare them for what is to come. Madly in love, they think they can conquer the world. Such wishful thinking. After being married for a year, Roy gets arrested for a crime he didn’t commit and is sentenced to twelve years in Prison. Twelve years. What a great start to their marriage. Initially, ...more
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
There's so much they hold
“And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?
“I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up”
--”I Won’t Give Up,” Jason Mraz, Songwriters: Jason Mraz, Michael Natter
Roy is a young man living in Atlanta, born and raised in Eloe, Louisiana, but Atlanta is where he raised himself from ...more
But, listen, when Oprah tells you to read something, you read it. That’s just how the world works.
I remember that fateful day, sitting on my couch, watching The Today Show or something like that. They kept teasing the big reveal of Oprah’s new book club book. Coming up right after the break. Coming up right after this. We will be right ...more
A young marriage destroyed when the man goes to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. When he’s released finally, life has shifted from what it once was.
A reconciliation of hurt, fear, and love. Redemption and restarting.
The writing: awesome.
Celestial and Roy have only been married a bit over a year when he’s found guilty of a crime. Roy isn’t a saint. Celestial discovers he’s already cheated on her on their first anniversary. But he is innocent of the crime.
In the blink of an eye, they go from living “that Huxtable life” to Roy being in prison.
The author gets certain things exactly right, like being caught between a parent and a spouse. And how little we really know about our spouse when we go into marriage. Prison forces ...more
A terrible racial injustice has occurred that rips apart the marriage of a black couple, Roy and Celestial after only a year of marriage. The storytelling is stellar and the characters are just so real.
Very moving! Recommended!
This perceptive drama is set in Atlanta, the story being told in the first person by its three main characters.
Roy is a smart, upwardly mobile career man. Celestial is an up and coming artist. Newly married and optimistic, their future is bright. Andre is Celestial’s closest friend.
When a catastrophic incident occurs a little way into ...more
Let’s get real. That’s the reason everyone and their damn dog read this thing. Now that I’ve read it, I’m fairly certain that’s why many users rated it so high as well. I actively avoided it for months because I wasn’t quite sure if I was still a drinker of the Oprah Kool-Aid and wanted to maintain my fond memories of a bygone era. But then a co-worker told me about a podcast she listened to where Tayari Jones was interviewed and ...more
At the heart of this one is the story of Celestial and Roy. They are a young married couple with so much ahead of them. I would not say they had the perfect marriage or knew what marriage is really about in the beginning. They had money, good jobs, a promising life together, and then it was all shattered.
This is a in-depth story told from the point of view of both Celestrial and Roy and their friend, Andre. It also includes letters between them interweaving them into the story. ...more
it's probably far too late in the month to be of use to anyone making black history month displays, but i made this list over on riffle if anyone's interested, because even if you're not entrusted with display-making, it's a handy list of books for reading any ...more
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