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An American Marriage

Tekijä: Tayari Jones

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
4,0212573,065 (3.88)231
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.… (lisätietoja)
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    Anonyymi käyttäjä: Both are stories of family and love involving people of color and their experiences
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 265) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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The question of what marriage means, what it binds you to and entitles you to, is probably the most fundamental one at issue in Tayari Jones' An American Marriage. It's not the only one, though. The book follows Roy and Celestial, a young black couple married about a year and a half when we first meet them. Their future seems so bright: he's a promising marketing executive, she's an artist beginning to find success with her doll-making. They're thinking about having a baby soon when they leave their home in Atlanta and drive to rural Louisiana to spend the weekend with Roy's parents. Celestial has a bad feeling, but they write it off to nerves. It is the first night they're there that their whole world changes.

Roy is accused of raping a white woman, and even though he's innocent, he's sentenced to 12 years. They immediately appeal, but of course appeals take time, and while that process is ongoing Roy's continued imprisonment leaves both of them uprooted. After five years, the appeal is ultimately successful, but that time has left both Roy and Celestial different people, and they can't just pick up where they left off.

Any more than that about the plot probably reveals more than would be preferable...this is a book that's best to savor as it reveals itself to you (and usually I'm pretty pro-spoiler, but this does really feel like an exception). The truth is that there's not a lot of "plot" per se, but there's enough, and the work that Jones does with character and the way she uses those characters to poke at our understanding of powerful themes like marriage, and family more broadly, are brilliant. The instinct to find a "good guy" and a "bad guy", when two people are in conflict, is so strong, but Jones refuses us that easy perspective. They're both the bad guy. They're both the good guy. They're both people who've spent the last five years suffering, and trying to deal with that suffering, in their own ways.

While there is a lot to really like here and this is definitely a good book, I'll be honest: it never quite crossed that line from good into great for me. I got more out of pondering it after I finished it than I got out of reading it, if that makes sense. And also, I had a small qualm with a writing choice Jones made: while the book is primarily told from the perspectives of Roy and Celestial, there's a third person who also gets point-of-view chapters. This person is important to the narrative and it wasn't that those portions were inferior or anything, but I would have preferred that the focus remained on the central couple exclusively. That being said, this is still a book that is well-worth your time and energy, and I'd recommend it to all readers. ( )
  ghneumann | Jun 14, 2024 |
Celestial and Roy, married for 18 months, are visiting his parents in Louisiana when Roy is accused of rape. He did not commit it but is sent to prison for 12 years. Released early, he tries to determine if he is still married and if he and Celestial can make it work. Can they? Have they moved beyond their marriage?

I liked this story, but it is sad. I liked that it is told from three points-of-view--Roy, Celestial, and Andre, Celestial's best friend since childhood. Each provides a full view of the marriage and the prison term. I felt for Roy. He got the worse. He did nothing wrong but because of his skin color, he is convicted. I found it interesting who his cellmate was. I liked the wisdom of Walter. He was spot on in so much that Roy would go through. Not sure what I feel towards Celestial and Andre. I do not like their betrayal of Roy. Nor did I like how clinical they tried to be with Roy.

I think the ending was what it was going to be, what it had to be. The three characters had grown in different ways and directions. Roy was hardened from prison. Celestial was more independent than she initially believed. Andre was always there for Celestial and, to an extent, Roy.

I was glad I read this. I will read more of her books. ( )
  Sheila1957 | May 29, 2024 |
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones was a fine book. Sweeping in its scope, the book tells the story of Celestial and Roy. They are southern, black, well-educated, hard-working, and prosperous. They have risen above their ancestry of sharecropping and poverty and are proud of where they are going, or would be if it were not for their marriage problems. Roy is what he likes to call "a ladies man", which is a polite way of saying he cheats on Celestial. Their arguments have begun to include talk of divorce, but Roy knows exactly how to charm his way back into his scorned wife's affections.

Then it happens. An elderly woman is raped, and she points the finger at Roy. The eye of the court looks discriminately at black defendants, and packs him off to prison for twelve years. Roy's life and his marriage dissolve like salt in a glass of Roy's mama's iced tea.

An American Marriage was a gripping read. It was - to my delight - epistolary for part of the book. Roy and Celestial and Andre, the other side of this triangle, are so keenly drawn that you can see their faces, hear their voices, know their hearts.

And yet.

I didn't like the way the book ended, and that's all I'm going to say about that for fear of spoilers. I didn't like the fact that I couldn't understand all the imagery. There was something important about a pear Roy once ate in prison, but I could never figure it out, although the image recurred throughout the novel. And this part pains me - I don't think I could ever comprehend the book fully because the book is about black American families and black American lives, and I fit in neither of those categories. Because of that, some parts of the book that might be plain to others are lost to this WASP-y lady in Canada.

However much I did and didn't understand, this was a masterful novel, and I am really glad to have read it and been privileged to meet the people within its pages. ( )
  ahef1963 | May 9, 2024 |
Celestial and Roy have been married a year when he is wrongfully imprisoned. This is a story of a marriage gradually, almost imperceptibly falling apart. It leads to many questions. Could this have happened to a white couple? How strong was their marriage anyway? How well did they know one another prior to their wedding? The story is told through the devices of their letters to each other while Roy is incarcerated and then, later as the story develops, by devoting chapters to the events that unfold from the standpoint of each of the principal characters. Successful, involving devices. This is a story that carried me along, despite my finding the characters generally unsympathetic. It's a book I enjoyed, but I have at the moment little motivation to try any more work by Jones. ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
A Love Story, the Tale of an American Marriage

Although Tamari Jones has written that this is essentially a love story, it is also a social commentary. But as a love story, it speaks to men and women of all races. In the end, there are relationships in which love is not enough. When tragedy occurs, some relationships cannot survive.
It is also a story about new beginnings, and finding a relationship and a life that truly fits who you are. All things considered, it had a "happy" ending. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Apr 11, 2024 |
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Jones, Tayariensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Crisden, SeanKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Davis, EisaKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Godwin, SteveSuunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Miceli, JayaSuunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
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Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
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Tärkeät tapahtumat
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Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
What happens to you doesn't belong to you,
only half concerns you. It's not yours. Not yours only.
              --- Claudia Rankine
Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
For my mother's sister, Alma Faye,
and for Maxine & Marcia, my own
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
There are two kinds of people in the world, those who leave home, and those who don't.
Sitaatit
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
But home isn't where you land; home is where you launch. You can't pick your home any more than you can choose your family. In poker, you get five cards. Three of them you can swap out, but two are yours to keep: family and native land.
She pulled away and walked to my bedroom and closed herself in with a little click of the knob. I could have pursued her. A paper clip could best the catch, but when a woman shuts you out, picking the lock won't let you back in.
You don't know what you need until somebody gives it to you exactly the way you need it gave.
It matters that I didn't grow up with my father. It's kind if like having one leg that's a half inch shorter than the other. You can walk, but there will be a dip.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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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.

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Tayari Jones's book An American Marriage was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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