I absolutely adored SILVER SPARROW a few years ago. So when I saw Jones was coming out with a new novel, well, I had to get my greedy little hands on it.
AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE arrived on my doorstep around noon a couple weeks ago. I devoured it before midnight. The writing reads like a dream. Jones has put her heart and soul into this story. She says she rewrote it three times. First in the point of view of Celestial. Then in Roy’s voice. But finally she realized that the story is not his nor hers to tell. It’s theirs.
AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE begins when a newly married couple living in Atlanta decide to visit his family in a small town in Louisiana. Roy and Celestial are on the right track. Their future is bright. He’s a young executive and she’s a promising artist. Their heritage is African American.
Roy is arrested and charged with a heinous crime that he did NOT commit. He is entirely innocent and we know that right from the get-go. But he is imprisoned for twelve years for this awful crime… wrong place, wrong time. Being a young black man did not help.
Can Roy and Celestial’s marriage survive this? She keeps saying that she’s innocent too. But the longer he’s in prison the farther apart they grow.
Our lives are delicate. They can change in a split second through no fault of our own. We have to make the best of what we are left with. Jones does not pull any punches. She tells it like it is. She shows how our circumstances shape our destinies.
This book will make you angry. It might make you cry. It will cause you to lose sleep. And it will enlighten some of you.
This heartbreaking story about injustice and betrayal will make you think. It’s both powerful and very human. I immediately put it on my lecture list for this season. I want everyone to read it.
It’s not just the incarcerated person who suffers. Their entire family goes into mourning. They are all innocent. They are only guilty of one thing: love. And sometimes that just is not enough.
I think book clubs will embrace AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones
and I look forward to being able to hand sell it! And boy am I already looking forward to her next novel.
Thanks go out to Algonquin for sending me this beautiful finished hardcopy. I love it!