An American Marriage

I haven’t read much fiction in the last year because I have been enthralled with memoir. I can’t seem to turn away from a true story, especially one with enough conflict to rip your heart out and awe-inspiring resolution that takes at least a week to render you able to live in your own reality again. However, even though this book is not memoir, there are enough realistic elements in the characters and in the story itself to make it plenty of peoples’ true story. I would venture to say anyone who has ever been in love can relate to the marriage of Roy and Celestial, and anyone of color can certainly relate to the prejudices that resulted in the events that unfolded.


Tayari Jones artistically placed us in deliberate scenarios where we could smell the room, taste the food, and see the landscape. We asked the questions along with the characters and couldn’t come up with the answers either.

What occurred to me as I was reading this, was how important human connection is and how much faith we put in each other to love, to support, to live, to function. We aren’t created to be alone, and really we only want to be understood and accepted, flaws and all. While I was fighting in my heart for their marriage, what I was really fighting for was for Roy to find peace, and in the end, I think Jones wrote him home.

Have you read this? If so, how do you think the title suits the narrative?