An American Marriage (Oprah’s Book Club): A Novel by Tayari Jones
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An American Marriage (Oprah’s Book Club): A Novel by Tayari Jones is an intimate look into the lives of people who must reckon with the past for moving forward into the future. The story is about a young black couple Roy and Celestia who are insanely in love with each other. Andre, their longtime friend, and neighbor is also a central character in the novel. The young couple are married for little over a year and are living their dream. Celestia is an artist and Roy is an executive and the future is full of hope and promise for them. The couple decides to travel from their hometown of Atlanta to visit Roy’s parents in Louisiana. They decide to stay in a hotel upon reaching Louisiana instead of staying with Roy’s parents in their home which later turns out to be their biggest mistake.
Roy is accused of rape by a white woman who has him mixed up with someone else. Roy is arrested and sentenced to 12 years of prison for a crime which he did not do. The couple are heartbroken over this. Roy and Celestia exchange letters while he is in prison. The truth dawns and Roy is exonerated after spending 5 years in prison. After coming out of the prison, his world turns upside down when he realizes that Celestia and Andre have become a couple now.
An American Marriage (Oprah’s Book Club): A Novel by Tayari Jones is a fine romantic novel. The author shifts from first-person narration through the letters Roy and Celestia exchange when he is imprisoned to narrating from the point of view of a third party- Andre. This provides the readers the insights into each characters thought process and personalities. The author expertly deals with the complications of marriage and relationships in the novel. The characters have been developed adequately and will strike a bond with the readers and will remain with them after the novel is finished also. The plot goes far beyond infidelity and racism to explore the dynamics and intricacies of romance and marriage in the American society. This is a wonderfully written novel and a must-read.