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An American Marriage: LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION, 2019 Paperback – 7 Mar 2019
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'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)
‘It’s among Tayari’s many gifts that she can touch us soul to soul with her words.’(Oprah Winfrey)
‘Powerful...The story...is both sweeping and intimate- at once an unsparing exploration of what it means to be black in America and a remarkably lifelike portrait of a marriage.’(The New Yorker)
‘Another incredible love story, though fraught with greater challenges for the couple at the centre, which makes the story all the more moving. Jones’s prose is chock-full of lyricism, grace and wisdom. You will never forget the story of Celestial and Roy.’(Attica Locke, Observer)
'The story is a blend of thoughtful drama and social issues... Obama described it as "a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African American couple."'(Independent)
‘Compelling...spun with tender patience by Jones, who cradles each of these characters in a story that pulls our sympathies in different directions. She never ignores their flaws, their perfectly human tendency toward self-justification, but she also captures their longing to be kind, to be just, to somehow behave well despite the contradictory desires of the heart.’(Washington Post)
‘Jones writes brilliantly about expectations and loss and racial injustice, and how love must evolve when our best laid plans go awry.’(Esquire)
‘Quietly powerful...[Jones's] writing illuminates the bits and pieces of a marriage: those almost imperceptible moments that make it, break it, and forcefully tear it apart.’(The Atlantic)
From the Inside Flap
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 struggles to hold on to the love that has been her centre. When his conviction is suddenly overturned, 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.See all Product description
From the Publisher
Beloved by everyone
‘A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple’
An absolute must-read
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of the American Dream. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day 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. Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together.
A masterpiece of storytelling, An American Marriage offers a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three unforgettable characters who are at once bound together and separated by forces beyond their control.
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I've just finished it and I was determined to write a review whilst it's still fresh in my mind. But I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said. Beautiful isn't really an adjective I'd equate to a book, but this was, the writing was beautiful. The characters were so fulsome and so three dimensional you couldn't help but feel for them, be enveloped in them and share in their pain. I could feel myself holding back tears, I couldn't help but feel totally emotive, cursing when it came time to putting the book down, remembering that my husband would otherwise starve to death if I didn't get up and go and cook dinner. But I always looked forward to going back to it. The protagonists had their own part of their story to tell, from their own perspective, and you ached with sympathy, with empathy and with a longing to see everybody turn out happy. Life was dealt a cruel to them and it was up to them to untangle the messy predicament they found themselves in.
If you'd like to go on an emotional journey that leaves you completely wrung out, I would highly recommend An American Marriage. It's worth your money and your time.
I loved the pace and the way in which the author reveals little aspects of the characters.
I was pleased to see the development of the male characters and the exploration of fatherhood.