An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An Amercian Marriage

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. 

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I flew through this novel, but trying to explain what happened in the novel, it just sounded odd. There’s a married couple and after a year of marriage, the husband is sentenced 12 years in jail. The wife then has to try to balance her life between living in the normal world and being a wife of a prisoner.

I think for me the biggest flaw was the characters. I didn’t like either Celestial or Roy and didn’t buy into their marriage. Throw in Celestial’s friend Andre (who was also an narrator) and there were 3 main characters that I questioned and didn’t agree with.

I think this would be a great novel for book clubs because there are so many different topics and debates that can happen. There were so many choices made at the beginning, middle and end of the novel, a lot that I didn’t agree with.

Also another negative for me was the lack of clarity. I’m a details person, so when something major happens in the novel, I want to know everything. I don’t like something being vague or the worst, being left to assume something. I want to know! I hate non-conclusions.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. Despite my review rant, I did enjoy the novel. It was a quick read that had me wanting to flip pages. I just wish I got the emotional pull as much as other reviewers.

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8 thoughts on “An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

  1. I also like clarity in a novel (especially when it all becomes clear at the end) Great review.

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  2. Great review. It’s a shame it didn’t give you the feels you were hoping for.
    Gemma @ Gemma’s Book Nook

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  3. I’m interested in this one but glad for your review… Definitely something to keep in mind when I eventually read it!

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