An American Marriage – Tayari Jones

An American Marriage has a fascinating concept. Roy and Celestial are young newlyweds trying to live their American Dream when it all comes crumbling down. Roy is falsely accused of a crime, convicted and sent to jail and Celestial is left alone after a single year of marriage and comforted by her childhood friend Andre.

This was an easy read and I devoured it quickly. I found the first two thirds engaging enough but the story truly comes into its own in the last 100 pages. I enjoyed the switches in perspective and the use of letters for portions of the book. The characters are all unique, each with their positives and their flaws. I was drawn into their world and caught up in their decisions and consequences.

There are a myriad of topics to discuss in this one making it a perfect bookclub pick. My discussions with others has also highlighted how different the persistent themes are for this novel. I found power a huge theme within this book, while others are drawn strongly to the theme of race and false convictions. I promise there will be no shortage of conversation with this one. I know I was left with many thoughts and much to ponder.

An American Marriage was a solid and unique read that it well worth picking up. I won’t promise it will be a particularly enjoyable read but it will be thought provoking and memorable. Any book that leaves you wanting to throw it across the room with frustration (at the characters actions) has done it’s job.

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