- Author: Tayari Jones
- File Size: 1734 KB
- Print Length: 320 pages
- Publisher: Oneworld Publications (March 19, 2018)
- Publication Date: April 5, 2018
- Language: English
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION
‘Haunting… Beautifully written.’ The New York Times Book Review
‘Compelling.’ The Washington Post
‘Epic… Transcendent… Triumphant.’ Elle
‘It’s among Tayari’s many gifts that she can touch us soul to soul with her words.’ Oprah Winfrey
‘[Tayari Jones’] vision, strength, and truth-telling voice have found a new level of artistry and power.’ Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
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 centre. 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.
`Haunting…beautifully written.’ * The New York Times Book Review * `Epic…transcendent…triumphant.’ * Elle * `It’s among Tayari’s many gifts that she can touch us soul to soul with her words.’ * Oprah Winfrey * `Compelling…spun with tender patience by Jones, who cradles each of these characters in a story that pulls our sympathies in different directions. She never ignores their flaws, their perfectly human tendency toward self-justification, but she also captures their longing to be kind, to be just, to somehow behave well despite the contradictory desires of the heart.’ * Washington Post * `Jones writes brilliantly about expectations and loss and racial injustice, and how love must evolve when our best laid plans go awry.’ * Esquire * `Nuanced and evocative… A compelling exploration of the thorny conflicts that drive us apart and bind us, the distorting weight of racism, and how commitment looks across time – and generations.’ * BBC.com * `Tayari Jones is blessed with vision to see through to the surprising and devastating truths at the heart of ordinary lives, strength to wrest those truths free, and a gift of language to lay it all out, compelling and clear. That has been true from her very first book, but with An American Marriage that vision, that strength, and that truth-telling voice have found a new level of artistry and power.’ * Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay * `Heart-wrenching… An American Marriage poses profound questions about what we owe each other, and what injustices we allow to persist.’ * Huffington Post * `I love An American Marriage and I’m so excited for this book to be in the world. Tayari’s novel is timely, thoughtful, and beautifully written. Reading it, I found myself angry as hell, laughing out loud, choking up and cheering. A gem of a book.’ * Jacqueline Woodson, author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming * `A heart-breaking and genuinely suspenseful love story…
Tayari Jones has written a complex and important novel about people trapped in a tragic situation, struggling to reconcile their responsibilities and desires.’ * Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children * `Tayari Jones is a great storyteller. An American Marriage holds the reader from first page to last.’ * Amy Bloom, author of Lucky Us * `Subtle, well-crafted, and powerful.’ * Kirkus (starred review) *
`A stunning epic love story filled with breathtaking twists and turns… Skilfully crafted and beautifully written, An American Marriage is an exquisite, timely, and powerful novel that feels both urgent and indispensable.’ * Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory * `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.’ * TheRumpus * `Tayari Jones provides an essential contemporary portrait of a marriage in this searing novel. An American Marriage gorgeously evokes the New South as it explores mass incarceration on a personal level.’
Entertainment Weekly * `Jones crafts an affecting tale that explores marriage, family, regret, and other feelings made all the more resonant by her well-drawn characters and their intricate conflicts of heart and mind.’ * Booklist * `Masterfully executed… Jones uses her love triangle to explore simmering class tensions and reverberating racial injustice in the contemporary South, while also delivering a satisfying romantic drama.’ * Publishers Weekly * `Enchanting… There are rarely novels as timely or fitting as An American Marriage..
The story is gripping, and the characters are unforgettable.’ * Foreword Reviews (starred review) * `[A] very insightful, touching story about contemporary relationships.’
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young business 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 suddenly ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined when, while visiting Roy’s parents in their small Louisiana town, Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years in prison for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit.
Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend and Roy’s best man at her wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. When, after five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together, Celestial is faced with a soul-wrenching decision: whether to let go or to try to rebuild a marriage that has lost its underpinnings.
This stirring love story is an 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.
This book was seriously so moving. Tayari created real people, people I feel like I know or went to church or school with and it’s always a treat when an author writes a story so complex that you’re not actually sure whose side you’re supposed to be on. I wasn’t going to review this book because I felt like it was going to get so many reviews that mine wouldn’t matter, but I stumbled upon a one-star review for this book and the reviewer simply said “I can’t connect to these characters. It was mostly letters.”
I don’t know how many of y’all can relate to a black couple in America ripped apart by a flawed justice system, but I personally got teary eyed by the second letter (the first one written by Roy). I’m only 22. I’ve never been married. I’m not a doll maker. I am NOTHING like these characters. But you know what? I can relate to them. As I read this story, I got incredibly emotional because I thought to myself–this is within the realm of possibility for me in my reality. This could happen to me. That’s why this story was so moving to me.
To the reader who inspired me to write this review because they “couldn’t relate” and therefore think that’s a reason to one-star a beautifully written story like this, if I wanted to read books about myself, I’d just read through my old facebook statuses. Not being able to see yourself in the characters doesn’t take away from the moving story being told. Often times publishing companies are wary about releasing books like Ms. Jones’ because of readers like this, but for readers like me, stories like this stay with us for weeks long after we’ve read the last page.
I am two months into 2018 and I feel l’m going to have a very hard time finding a book that has affected me as much as this one has. Also, to the person who likened this book to a Tyler Perry show–side eyeing you and how wrong that statement was.