There probably hasn’t been a book that has sparked as much debate or emotion at one of our monthly book club meetings as An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.
As newlyweds, Celestial and Roy appear to embody the American Dream. Living in Atlanta, Roy is a successful young executive, Celestial on the brink of an exciting career as an artist. All of that is ripped away in the blink of an eye when Roy is arrested, charged and sentenced to 12 years for a violent crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Their marriage is tested as Roy sits behind bars, and Celestial seeks comfort from Andre, her childhood friend and the best man at their wedding.
At its core, An American Marriage is a gritty, yet beautiful, love story. It brings to light some heavy issues, including wrongful incarceration and the prison justice system, infidelity, and even the downside of being in a relationship or marriage with someone who is less successful. The reader is taken on an emotional roller coaster – at times feeling frustration, other times, heartbreak. It’s a true page turner that’s worth the read.
The book sparked one of the most animated discussions in recent memory for our book club. Some had pretty strong opinions, but we all seemingly enjoyed it.
Rating: 5 out of 5