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An American Marriage
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What We're Reading > February 2020 - An American Marriage

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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 67 comments Mod
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. In this deft exploration of love, loyalty, race, justice, and both Black masculinity and Black womanhood in 21st century America, Jones achieves that most-elusive of all literary goals: the Great American Novel.

*This book is available in ebook form on RBdigital:

message 2: by Judith (new)

Judith M | 2 comments I just started reading this today and it has peaked my interest enough that I can’t wait to know the outcome!

message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 67 comments Mod
Judith wrote: "I just started reading this today and it has peaked my interest enough that I can’t wait to know the outcome!"

That's great, Judith! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!

Chelley Marie | 23 comments Everyone still reading this book? I’m a new member :)

message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 67 comments Mod
Chelley wrote: "Everyone still reading this book? I’m a new member :)"

Hi, Chelley! Welcome! Yes, this book is part of our February picks. We have three other choices, as well, if you would like to take a look. I have bumped our other threads, so all February threads should be visible now. You can check these out from your library, or you can check them out for free digitally, through our RBdigital app here:

I will post some discussion questions on the 24th, but please feel free to comment any time and get the ball rolling!

Chelley Marie | 23 comments I’m really enjoying this book:)

message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 67 comments Mod
Chelley wrote: "I’m really enjoying this book:)"

Awesome, Chelley! What are you liking about it so far? What do you think of the characters?

message 8: by Jessica (last edited Feb 24, 2020 06:41AM) (new)

Jessica | 67 comments Mod
Hi, all! I am excited to hear your thoughts on this book! Here are some questions to get the ball rolling.

1. Jones named her novel An American Marriage, a title which suggests this novel has something specific to say about marriage in America. What do you think this novel is saying about marriage? What makes the events of this novel specifically American?

2. For Celestial, it seems as if certain behaviors are expected of her as a woman and, even more specifically, as a Black woman. What sort of expectations do we see her family and Roy place on her? Are these expectations fair? Do you agree with how she responded to them?

3. This novel’s pacing is interesting in that it focuses in on specific moments of time for an extended period, speeds through others through the exchange of letters, and skips over periods of time entirely to move on to the next important moment. Why do you think Jones chose the moments she did to write about in detail? What effect did the fast passage of time have on the narrative?

4. There are so many beautiful insights about love and the nature of love in this novel. For instance, Jones writes, “Love is the enemy of sound judgment, and occasionally this is in service of the good.” Do you agree with this sentiment? How does love affect characters’ decisions in this novel?

More questions can be found here:

Chelley Marie | 23 comments I absolutely loved this book!

Chelley Marie | 23 comments I don’t agree with her not just telling her husband that she wanted a divorce and moving on with a new man but I do understand why she didn’t tell him. It’s sad but a lot of men/ woman go to prison for something they did not do. I do believe the husband put to much pressure on her to stick it out with him.

message 11: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 67 comments Mod
I wonder if Celestial wanted it to work out so badly because she wanted her marriage to be different and didn't want to get divorced. I think once Roy was in jail, she began to live her life on her own terms. It was an unfortunate event that gave them enough space for her to see her future differently. There are a lot of layers to examine with what the American dream really means, and what an American marriage really is.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to hear your thoughts for March's picks!

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