To say Oprah’s Book Club selection, “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones, is a complicated love story, would be an understatement. But to say this is the best novel I’ve read in a very long time is the stone cold truth.
You know the type of book, that as you’re reading it you want to read the words out loud to anyone who will listen? Or you want your best friend to read it, so you have someone to talk about it with? Well this is that book.
Without giving away too much, the story is about a young black couple (Roy and Celestial) who have been married about a year and are living their dream life in Atlanta when Roy is wrongly convicted of a crime and sentenced to over a decade in prison.
In one evening their perfect life is destroyed and it makes you wonder how many inmates and their families had their “perfect lives” unjustly ruined at no fault of their own? This book brings topics of mass incarceration, systemic racism, love, marriage, family and betrayal right to the surface and demands that you think long and hard about them.
Jones’ writing style is simply beautiful. I re-read and highlighted many paragraphs in this book that were so moving they read like poetry. The story telling, character development – everything about this novel is powerful and will stay with you long after you finish the last page.
Have you read “An American Marriage”? Leave your thoughts in the comments.