A book everyone talks about: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Book Review) #AnAmericanMarriage #GeneralFiction #BookReview

Title: An American Marriage
Author: Tayari Jones
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Date: March 7th, 2019
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review


If you keep up with books and new releases, you have probably heard about An American Marriage. How could you not?
It was released in America for the first time last year, and ever since it saw light of the day, everyone keeps talking about it. And I mean everyone! Not only book reviewers and youtubers, but also famous people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey. In a matter of fact, this novel was also pick for Oprah’s book club one moth, it was Book of the Month one time, and it also won many bookish awards.

When I saw it on Netgalley I couldn’t believe it! Since An American Marriage was already on my tbr list, I tried my luck and requested it, and was pleasantly surprised when I saw that I was approved for this master piece.

The story follows Roy and Celestial who are married for more then one year. Everything falls apart for them when Roy is accused for the rape crime he didn’t do. Innocent, he was sent to prison.
While he was serving for the crime he didn’t do, their marriage is shaken, Celestial finds it hard to act like Roy expects her to, and they fall apart more each day.

The novel is written in unique kind of way. At first we get to follow Roy’s and Celestial’s POVs, all written in first person. 
Then we read letters they send to each other while Roy was in prison, and after that we follow the story from Roy’s, Celestia’s and Andre’s POVs, again written in first person.

The writing style is really good. It sounds authentic and realistic, and it is easy to follow.

The story itself is very realistic and raw, driven by characters who all have their flaws, and who’s point of views are so much different and the reader has to go into the story with an open mind.

I will be first to admit that I had some hard time to back Celestial. Even though I did understand where she was coming from, and how independent she was, I think she could have acted with more respect for her husband while he was rotting in prison.
I don’t talk about unfaithfulness here, but about the fact she almost never visited Roy.

I hoped for the happier ending, even though I do understand it wasn’t possible.
I feel like the victim of the story ended up the worst, while “bad guys” got their happy ending.

Overall, I am so glad I had an opportunity to read this book, and I would highly recommend it to everyone who likes to read beautiful, but also raw and realistic prose.


  1. Ahh this was an interesting read for me as, unlike you, I felt didn’t want Roy and Celestial to reunite. I didn’t think Roy treated her with respect before he went into prison and hated his attitude towards her after he was released. Saying that however, I wasn’t a fan of Andre either – I thought both men had horribly possessive attitudes towards Celestial and she would be better off without either. It was interesting to read your perspective on the novel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anna, this review is my first impression of the book. However, I later watched some book talks about this book on youtube (I think Theresa’s from Ivymuse ltalked really mindful about it) and changed my perspective. I agree with you, I don’t think Roy respected Celestial and both men acted like she was an object.


      1. It’s interesting how perspective can changed in the time following finishing a novel isn’t it! An American Marriage, to me, was trying to go what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah did so well. Its a shame it didn’t quite make it x

        Liked by 1 person

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