BOOK REVIEW: AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE BY TAYARI JONES

Is there anyone out there? Do I still have any interested readers waiting for my posts? Wow! It has been too long! I apologize for my absence on this platform. I really did miss it but life happened and I just couldn’t keep up with reading and reviewing.

Actually, I have been reading but I didn’t feel compelled to review anything until now. This book by Tayari Jones reminded me that I still love to review books.

When I came across an ad on instagram for the sale of a gently used Amazon Kindle with over 600 books already on it, I didn’t think I would take up the offer. Out of sheer curiosity I reached out to the seller and before I could stop myself I had purchased said Kindle and books. This Kindle led me to my very first encounter with Tayari Jones’ words and better believe that I am in love!

There was something about this narration that stuck to me and wouldn’t let go. Even after I read the last word in the book I was still looking for more of the wholesome goodness of a well narrated story; a story that gives a a different perspective, one that says it as it is honestly and without diplomacy. A story of a black man and a black woman in America.

An American Marriage is not only beautiful, it evokes so many emotions from pain to sorrow to love and then heartbreak. Oh heartbreak! How heartbreaking can it be for an innocent man who’s convicted for a crime he did not commit and then to come back from prison and find that his wife has moved on. My heart bled for Roy and I could not hate Celestial.

An American Marriage was rich in character. I marveled at the way the author gave off the black vibe, the richness of their attitude, the awareness of their color and the reality of their situation. The characters were so properly described that I felt I would know them if they passed by me.

This story was simple enough to understand but complex enough to tug at one’s conscience. It made me question myself. What would I do if I were Celestial? Would I have stuck it out? Waiting for my man to get out of prison? And Andre? The steady friend who slips into lover once Roy is out of the picture. I wondered if it wasn’t only a matter of time before Andre and Celestial would get together.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones was a page turner. It kept me company on my commute home from work and I latched on to the book until I had milked out the whole story.

The danger of a mistake. That is what the book really centers on. A woman claims she was raped. She claims it was Roy. Roy is incarcerated. End of story? No. This claim spirals into the lives of Celestial, her parents, Big Roy, Olive, Andre…everyone connected to Roy suffers for one woman’s wrong claim.

The author relays the story in an easy way. The dialogue, the poetry in the words, the intensity of emotions and the turn of events in the letters exchanged between the main characters. I also enjoyed the narration as it moved from Roy to Celestial and then Andre. One is able to see each character and their inner struggles.

I loved the wisdom in the book as well. Reading lines like “If you have a woman, you recognize when you have said the wrong thing. Somehow she arranges the ions in the air and you can’t breathe as well”

or

“None of this proposing via billboard or at halftime at the Rose Bowl. Marriage is between two people. There is no studio audience.”

And

“Love makes a place in your life, it makes a place for itself in your bed. Invisibly, it makes a place in your body, rerouting all your blood vessels, throbbing right alongside your heart. When it’s gone, nothing is whole again”

I cannot quote all the lines that struck me but I can tell you that I will be reading the book again. I hope you look for this book, I hope you find the time to read it. It was a fantastic read and I recommend it for anyone who is looking for a story that’s entertaining yet relevant.

Kemibon


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