Ok. I’m back! Again 😛 (Sorry been caught up with motherhood..)
Title: An American Marriage
Author: Tayari Jones
My verdict: 4 stars
Synopsis (From the book cover):
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. HE is a young business 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 suddenly ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined when, while visiting Roy’s parents in their small Louisiana town, Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years in prison for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit.
Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself lost, taking comfort in ANdre, her childhood friend and Roy’s best man at their wedding. When after 5 years, Roy’s conviction is overturned and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together, Celestial is faced a soul-wrenching decision: whether to let go or to try rebuild a marriage that has lost its underpinnings.
What an engaging read. Her words drew me in as I got deeper into the story. Voices of the characters were a little blurry at times, but that didn’t mar the story.
I liken the experience of reading this book to having a satisfying full course meal at a restaurant (yes, I love food too lol) – starter, appetizer, main course, dessert; all appropriately and skillfully proportioned. It gave me the joy of enjoying each morsel, savoring each bite, while feeding my mind and soul.
You can’t help but to empathize with each character, all with their own strengths, weaknesses and dilemmas that we can all relate to at some point or another.
The story also made me question and ponder – what is love; what it means to be married; what is family; where is home; and issues concerning racism.
Here are some passages that I liked about love and marriage:
“It was a wonderful feeling to be grown and yet young. To be married but not settled. To be tied down yet free.”
“Love makes a place for itself in your bed. Invisibly, it makes a place in your body, rerouting all your blood breaks, throbbing right alongside your heart. When it’s gone, nothing is whole again.”
“I married him for a reason. You can never really unlove somebody. Maybe it changes shape, but it’s there.”
Ok SPOILER ALERT here. Skip this part if you haven’t read this and you don’t intend to know the ending.
This is why I think what happened between Celestial and Andre was out of convenience, and what Celestial had for Roy was real. If not, why had she kept his tooth all those years? And love, can it really be replaced? Like she said, when it’s gone, nothing is whole again.
What I enjoyed:
Definitely her writing. To me, that’s what good writing is about. It’s not only just the plot and characters, but also the way words leave an impact; how they leave you with a lot to think about. And Tayari JOnes weaved her words intricately and purposefully.
She has all those ingredients in “An American Marriage”.
What a fine, fine book!