What happens to a marriage when it is reduced to correspondence and brief supervised encounters? Told in letters, with vibrant narration, An American Marriage is the gut-wrenching story of Roy and Celestial, who have just begun building a life together when Roy is falsely convicted of a crime. Recommended By Lucinda G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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 center. 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.
"This is, at its heart, a love story, but a love story warped by
racial injustice. And, in it, Jones suggests that racial injustice
haunts the African-American story. Subtle, well-crafted, and powerful." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Layered like Pearl Cleage's
What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, this title will appeal to all readers of contemporary fiction." Library Journal (Starred Review)
“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.” Ron Charles, Washington Post
“[A] clear vision of the quiet devastation of a family. It is beautifully written, with many allusions to black music and culture...the everyday poetry of the African-American community that begs to be heard.” The New York Times Book Review
“One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon....An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.” Barack Obama
About the Author
Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, including Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, and Leaving Atlanta. Jones holds degrees from Spelman College, Arizona State University, and the University of Iowa. A winner of numerous literary awards, she is a professor of creative writing at Emory University. Visit her website at www.tayarijones.com.