An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Published: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Format: audiobook via Overdrive
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.
Wow is all I can say about this amazing book! In An American Marriage went Celestial and Roy who are newly married and are visiting Roy’s parents when something as simple as staying in a hotel changes their lives forever. Roy is accused and charged with rape and soon everything that they thought their future was is no longer. You see Roy’s innocence is never in question, we know he is innocent and was falsely accused from the start, but what the real story here is what his time behind bars does to him and Celestial.
Celestial stands by Roy and helps him but soon he has been in jail longer than they were married and as time goes by she realizes that they have both grown apart of sorts, he has grown up in prison and her life on the outside has changed her also. While she still loves and cares for him she can no longer just wait for him, she feels the need to move on and her longtime friend Andre is happy to help her. Now personally I could’ve done without the Andre factor but I get, there are some other storylines that are woven in that once are connected are powerful, but the real gems here for me, are always Roy and Celestial. I honestly felt for both of them. Roy was a good guy who got the ultimate bad rap. To be innocent and imprisoned harden him some and you see that later in the novel. His time there did change who he was. Celestial has always been there for him but who could blame her for wanting to move on? She loves him no doubt but I understood she wanted a real family, love, and affection and you can't have that with someone who isn’t physically there.
This novel shows us that love can't always conquer all things. That sometimes no matter how much you love someone sometimes the best thing you can do is to let them go. People change and sometimes we change in different directions no matter how hard we try to stick together. This read was a powerful one of love, family, and our inner strength. It's about our ability to fight for what we want yet to know when its time to let go. Tayari Jones has written a beautiful tale that shows us that life is raw and unfair yet still gives us hope with the fact that we all deserve to be loved and care for. That we can take all these things that life throws at us and still survive, this is one read that will still with me forever, it is that amazing!