5 star reviews, Book reviews, contemporary fiction, Racism

American Marriage by Tayari Jones

5/5 stars

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I LOVED this book!  This book is an emotional rollercoaster that takes you deep into someone else’s life and someone else’s love story.  It is so beautifully written and interwoven.  The characters are so well developed that I felt like they were real. The story explores issues of race, love, marriage, fidelity, class, family and the prison system in an honest, raw but beautiful way. I highly recommend this book.

Roy grew up in a poor Louisiana town, but in a family with a lot of integrity and good values. Celestial and Andre were childhood friends in an upper-middle class Atlanta suburb. Roy works hard to get out of Louisiana and make a different life for himself. He and Celestial meet and fall in love and get married. A year and a half into their marriage, Roy is accused of a crime that Celestial knows he didn’t commit because she was with him the whole time, but Roy is convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Celestial stands by his side, until she falls in love with someone else. It all happens so beautifully, so organically and you really can not blame Celestial at all.

I felt so many things while reading this book.  I fell in love with Roy and I wanted him to be ok.  I wanted to drink wine and shop in Celeste’s shop and I wanted her sense of style.  I wanted to be friends with these characters.  And I wanted to go down South.

One of the things that I found so remarkable was that the setting of this story is so vivid that I felt like I was there in a way that I don’t remember ever having experienced with another book.  It made me reminisce about vacations to South Carolina and Georgia and start thinking more about places I want to visit with Jason when the girls are no longer traveling with us.

Something odd about me :: if I read a book where the husband is a jerk, I sort of unconsciously start to think all men are jerks and it definitely has an effect on my marriage (my poor husband!).  But when I read a book like this, where the man is so loving and so kind and I fall a little bit in love with him myself, I end up falling more in love with my husband too.  Odd, yes, probably.  But this is a good one to fall more in love with men!!


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