Monthly Archives: January 2018

*ARC Review * An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Posted 31 January, 2018 by DLWhite in Reviews, Writers Read 2 Comments

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Published by Algonquin Books on February 6th 2018
Pages: 320

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.

I will never forget the day that my friend S.C. asked if I’d ever read Tayari Jones. “She’s an Atlanta author; I think you’d like her.” Of course, I hadn’t read her, so I started with her debut, Leaving Atlanta, an emotionally gripping, attention grabbing tale about the Atlanta Child Murders. I moved on to The Untelling, which was so good that I couldn’t WAIT until Silver Sparrow was released. I snatched it up on the day of publication and so happily handed it over to Ms. Jones for her to sign it when she came to Atlanta. It remains my favorite of her novels.

But it has been YEARS since she published a full novel, and one misses the good words when there is such a dearth in black fiction. I was overjoyed to hear she had begun working on a new novel, and it took some time, but I want to offer my thanks to the publisher for an advanced copy because I just couldn’t wait one more second to dig into this book!

As I always say, I love when I open a book and I am instantly transported into that world, that time. I feel like a fly on the wall, listening to characters talk, watching the action, interpreting and rationalizing. The beginning chapters of this book set the scene– Celestial and Roy, newly married, in that ‘newly married’ kind of bliss, still sort of figuring each other out and trying to manage the in-law relationship as well. On a trip to visit Roy’s parents, they decide to stay at a hotel instead of a room at the house where they’d normally stay. Roy has special plans, he wants to show Celestial a special spot. Read More