While this next book, An American Marriage, was not actually my February Book of the Month selection, it would have been my second choice. So when the book club I’m in selected An American Marriage as our March book, I was more than happy to go back and nab it up (for just $10, by the way). I knew it was going to be a good one…
An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones
Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, An American Marriage is about a black, newlywed couple whose already somewhat rocky marriage is tested when the husband, Roy, is wrongfully accused of a crime and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Can budding love survive when the perfect concoction of residual racial oppression and the law keeps a husband and wife apart and temptation lives next door? Through letters and multiple points of view, the reader finds out.
There are too many loose ends in the world in need of knots. You can’t attend to all of them, but you have to try.
― Tayari Jones, An American Marriage
Awards (based upon my brief research):
An Instant New York Times Bestseller
Oprah’s Book Club 2018 Selection
My Overall Rating:
4 – I loved so many things about this book. It was thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and educational. I rooted for characters. I got mad at characters. And I allowed characters to test my perspective on issues such as modern racial oppression, relational issues and more. A quick read, this book reminded me somewhat of The Help, in the way it sheds light on racial tensions that many of us believe are ancient history. Racism may have changed, but it’s not gone.
I highly recommend this book, but why the 4 and not a 5? The wife, Celestial, seemed to choose an unbelievable route in the plot. Not only did I not expect her to respond the way she did, I could think of several other responses that seemed more natural given the situation. In the end, resolution was found where resolution was needed, but the journey there for Celestial just didn’t seem quite right.