An American Marriage

An American Marriage

A Novel

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"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."--From publisher.
Publisher: Toronto : Harpercollins Publishers Ltd, 2018
Branch Call Number: FICTION JON
Characteristics: 308 p. ; 23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
mazinwhistler Aug 15, 2019

I picked this book up not knowing much about it except that it is this month's Book Club selection at my library. I loved it! I'm a quite fast reader by regular standards but I really motored through this book. It is written from the viewpoints of three characters (Roy, Celestial and Andre) and I love this style when it goes from chapter to chapter picking up the story from another perspective (keeps you on your toes!). The story itself is so interesting and challenges you to think about relationships and the many forks in the road that life poses us with and how these relationships evolve depending on circumstances. A worthwhile read!

Aug 12, 2019

As a writer myself, I felt humbled by the narrative power of this author, Tayari Jones. As this novel, listed for the September selection of the Oakville Library Central Branch bookclub, I was lucky to get an advance on my reading. After completing the novel, I'm inspired to purchase my own copy for the quality of story-telling felt moving and magnificent in its reality and edification to any wordsmith. I knew I had to own it, to revisit it.

The chapters are narrated by the significant players, each with their perspective on the on-going situation, so the reader gets to know them well, and feel for them. For me, this novel was extremely poignant as these characters share their points-of-view as to how circumstances of life acted on them.

Simple yet profound, this story touched my emotions deeply and at the same time, I had no anticipation of how things would turn out which is quite a feat for a writer to pull off. The readers can guess all they want. They are held in suspense until the end. In this deep and spiritual work, Ms. Jones develops the emotion, and there's plenty of it. I loved every second I spent reading this novel. It affected me intensely; for that, I am grateful, and perhaps, a bit wiser.

Aug 05, 2019

Good read!!!!!!

Aug 05, 2019

While this wasn't one of my favorite reads, it was beautifully written and at times, incredibly powerful. I really felt for Roy, and found his character to be impactful and we'll developed. I felt some other characters fell a bit flat though. Overall, it was a good exploration of the impacts of incarceration on both a man and his family.

Jul 06, 2019

A meaty, satisfying read. Ray and Celestial have been married for less than 2 years when he's incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit. Celestial has no doubts about his innocence, which is what made her consequent actions unforgivable to me. I would certainly try other titles by Jones.

Groszerita Jul 02, 2019

This is a complicated book. Jones writes very well and often is poetic.

Jun 27, 2019

I'm surprised some readers found the book flat and unconvincing. On the contrary, I thought the novel was beautifully written. The author painted a picture of a complex and emotional marriage that expresses contemporary challenges. The prose are beautiful; much of the description is richly worded and thoughtfully expressed. It was very gripping.

Jun 07, 2019

I think the marriage was in trouble before the incarceration. The wife finds evidence of her husband's wandering eye a couple of times. After he goes to jail she is very quick to have an abortion even though she and her parents could support a child. Would this marriage have lasted had he not gone to jail? Good book for a bookclub.

Jun 07, 2019

I read this novel for a class because it has a very accurate portrayal of a black man being falsely accused of a crime and incarcerated by a racist criminal justice system, and how this destroys his marriage.

BPLpicks Jun 05, 2019

This book allows us a glimpse inside a marriage that has been torn apart when the husband is unfairly incarcerated. It is told from the alternating points of view of both the husband and wife as they make difficult choices or learn to cope when they have no choices at all. This character driven book is thought provoking and moving. A good book for readers who like to feel invested in the characters of a book.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Dec 06, 2018

wiseallison1 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


Add a Quote
Dec 27, 2018

The vast generosity of women is a mysterious tunnel, and nobody knows where it leads.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at HPL

To Top