An American marriage

Tayari Jones

Book - 2018

"Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control"--

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FICTION/Jones, Tayari
3 / 6 copies available
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1st Floor FICTION/Jones, Tayari Due Jul 13, 2022
1st Floor FICTION/Jones, Tayari Due Jul 19, 2022
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Subjects
Genres
Domestic fiction
Published
Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2018.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
308 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781616208684
9781616201340
1616201347
Main Author
Tayari Jones (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Married for just over a year, Roy and Celestial are still navigating their new dynamic as husband and wife. Then their lives are forever altered when they travel to Roy's small Louisiana hometown for a visit, and Roy is falsely accused of a harrowing crime and sentenced to 12 years in prison. The strain on their relationship is intense during Roy's incarceration, especially once Celestial's career takes off while he struggles with loss and feelings of abandonment. Nearly halfway through Roy's sentence, his conviction is vacated. In the aftermath of his unexpected release, the couple must confront difficult questions about the choices they've made as well as the expectations of others. For Celestial, it means reconciling the relationship with her husband with that of a longtime friend turned lover. Roy, on the other hand, faces the complexities of a life he no longer recognizes. Jones (Silver Sparrow, 2011) crafts an affecting tale that explores marriage, family, regret, and other feelings made all the more resonant by her well-drawn characters and their intricate conflicts of heart and mind. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Novelist Jones (Silver Sparrow), recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and United States Artist Fellowship, begins her story with Celestial and Roy, a young, newlywed couple excited about their future together, taking a trip to visit Celestial's family. Roy then makes a simple decision that changes his life. A woman in a nearby hotel room is raped and, having encountered Roy at the ice machine, later mistakenly identifies him as the culprit. Despite the lack of evidence, Roy is sentenced to prison for 12 years. Celestial knows that he is innocent and tries to support him despite her pain. She turns to best friend Andre, who was also a friend of Roy's, eventually beginning a relationship with him. When Roy's conviction is later overturned, his return is equally a joyous and a challenging occasion that brings up issues of love, family, and race. Jones's writing is engagingly layered with letters between the main characters integrated through the narrative. Her personal letter to readers demonstrates how writing this novel changed her. VERDICT Layered like Pearl Cleage's What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, this title will appeal to all readers of contemporary fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 8/14/17.]—Ashanti White, Fayetteville, NC Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

This BookExpo hit from the author of the multi-best-booked Silver Sparrow concerns newlyweds Celestial and Roy, whose marriage is strained when Roy is arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. A portrait of wrecked hearts and the consequences of a skewed justice system that often criminalizes young black men; with a 15-city tour. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Jones (Silver Sparrow) lays bare the devastating effects of wrongful imprisonment in this piercing tale of an unspooling marriage. Roy, an ambitious corporate executive, and Celestial, a talented artist and the daughter of a self-made millionaire, struggle to maintain their fledgling union when Roy is sentenced to 12 years in prison on a rape charge he is adamant is false. Before Roy's arrest, the narrative toggles between his and Celestial's perspectives; it takes an epistolary form during his imprisonment that affectingly depicts their heartbreaking descent into anger, confusion, and loneliness. When Roy is proven innocent and released seven years early, another narrator is introduced: Andre, Celestial's lifelong best friend who has become very close to her while Roy has been away. Jones maintains a brisk pace that injects real suspense into the principal characters' choices around fidelity, which are all fraught with guilt and suspicion, admirably refraining from tipping her hand toward one character's perspective. The dialogue—especially the letters between Roy and Celestial—are sometimes too heavily weighted by exposition, and the language slides toward melodrama. But the central conflict is masterfully executed: Jones uses her love triangle to explore simmering class tensions and reverberating racial injustice in the contemporary South, while also delivering a satisfying romantic drama. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Feb.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When her new husband is imprisoned for a crime she knows he did not commit, a rising artist takes comfort in a longtime friendship, only to see her husband's sentence is suddenly overturned. By the author of Silver Sparrow. Reprint. AB. K. LJ. NYT. PW. A New York Times best-seller.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK A 2018 BEST OF THE YEAR SELECTION OF NPR  * TIME  * BUSTLE  * O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE  * THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS  * AMAZON.COM OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION  WINNER OF THE 2019 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK—FICTIONLONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION“A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.” —Barack Obama “Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review   “Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today   “A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People   “Compelling.” —The Washington Post “Deeply moving . . . thought-provoking." —Bill Gates   “Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle 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.   This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK A 2018 BEST OF THE YEAR SELECTION OF NPR  * TIME  * BUSTLE  * O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE  * THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS  * AMAZON.COM OPRAH's BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION  WINNER OF THE 2019 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK'FICTIONLONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION'A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.' 'Barack Obama 'Haunting . . . Beautifully written.' 'The New York Times Book Review   'Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.' 'USA Today   'A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.' 'People   'Compelling.' 'The Washington Post 'Deeply moving . . . thought-provoking." 'Bill Gates   'Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.' 'Elle 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.   This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward'with hope and pain'into the future.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK A 2018 BEST OF THE YEAR SELECTION OF NPR  * TIME  * BUSTLE  * O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE  * THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS  * AMAZON.COM OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION  WINNER OF THE 2019 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK—FICTIONLONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION“A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.” —Barack Obama “Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review   “Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today   “A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People   “Compelling.” —The Washington Post “Deeply moving . . . thought-provoking." —Bill Gates   “Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle 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.   This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.