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Tayari Jones does an excellent job of writing complicated characters. You'll find lots to discuss and ponder while you read this.
A twisty, turny, thoughtful book about marriage, love, race and how life rarely goes the way we plan. I burned through this in 2 days. I think this would be a great book club pick!
Now this is a NOVEL! This complex, character-driven story is full of love and injustice. Highly recommend. The audio version is great.
What a good read. Couldn't put it down. The characters, the situation were so compelling.
Thought it was a really good read. All about character. Each chapter is from one of the main character's perspective. Would read more by this author.
The story line is not that complicated but the message is heavy. Love, marriage, and put the two together what do you really get in live? One was wronged by the constitution yet defends their marriage. One couldn't "un-constitutionize" their marriage yet gave up. And there is history, value, religion, fatherhood, race... Spent 10 hours straight reading this book and spent another 10 hours crying. This is a book made a impact on my perspective about love and marriage.
The characters were exasperating and shallow. Story line would make for a television reality program.
You find yourself making quick judgements about these characters but as the story unfolds you become more and more empathetic towards them. It’s difficult to “pick a side” if you will and that’s what I enjoyed most about this book. The protagonists are not all “good” or all “bad”. They make the best imperfect choices with what they have at the time just as we do in life. There was probably one somewhat under developed relationship in the story that I didn’t care much for but this was an excellent read overall.
I found this book packed a strong emotional punch. The writing was powerful, and the story poignant. I could not put it down, especially the last 100 pages or so.
It is a literary masterpiece, and I am sure it will receive an award. Read it if you dare!
It took me a while to finish this book; simply because it was one I kept putting down. Though the writing is easy to read, I felt it too simple. There wasn’t very much character development.. the only character I truly empathized with was Big Roy. I liked the idea of the letters, but thought it could’ve been executed better. It wasn’t a bad read, but it didn’t meet my expectations (from the popularity of it - even a recommendation from Oprah’s bookclub). Important message that had a lot of potential, but better executed in other books. 3.5/5 stars.
Made it about 100 pages and was over it. Just cannot stand the back and forth vague letter writing between the husband and wife after he's in jail. Hello.... DNA?? Seriously! This is NOT set in the 80's. Fiction for sure.
I just finished my second read-through of An American Marriage; my first was quite a quick dash while on vacation in the spring, but this time around, I really savored Tayari Jones' writing and immersed myself in the narrative in preparation for our Book Club discussion.
Okay, so I know I liked this novel more on the second go, but I can't exactly articulate why. I still don't particularly like any of the characters; for the most part, their views of gender roles and marriage are gratingly opposite to mine. I think the first two sections are much more compelling than the last, and I can see how the last third could leave a bad taste in your mouth (as it did in mine). But there's magic in those first two sections, and I wish we got more of it!
I'll have to chalk my enjoyment up to the writing - I often found my self reading and re-reading particular lines, and I made notes galore. There's not much plot, but Tayari Jones handles the character development masterfully, creating subtle yet powerful portraits of Celestial, Roy, and Andre.
I picked this book up not knowing much about it except that it is this month's Book Club selection at my library. I loved it! I'm a quite fast reader by regular standards but I really motored through this book. It is written from the viewpoints of three characters (Roy, Celestial and Andre) and I love this style when it goes from chapter to chapter picking up the story from another perspective (keeps you on your toes!). The story itself is so interesting and challenges you to think about relationships and the many forks in the road that life poses us with and how these relationships evolve depending on circumstances. A worthwhile read!
As a writer myself, I felt humbled by the narrative power of this author, Tayari Jones. As this novel, listed for the September selection of the Oakville Library Central Branch bookclub, I was lucky to get an advance on my reading. After completing the novel, I'm inspired to purchase my own copy for the quality of story-telling felt moving and magnificent in its reality and edification to any wordsmith. I knew I had to own it, to revisit it.
The chapters are narrated by the significant players, each with their perspective on the on-going situation, so the reader gets to know them well, and feel for them. For me, this novel was extremely poignant as these characters share their points-of-view as to how circumstances of life acted on them.
Simple yet profound, this story touched my emotions deeply and at the same time, I had no anticipation of how things would turn out which is quite a feat for a writer to pull off. The readers can guess all they want. They are held in suspense until the end. In this deep and spiritual work, Ms. Jones develops the emotion, and there's plenty of it. I loved every second I spent reading this novel. It affected me intensely; for that, I am grateful, and perhaps, a bit wiser.
While this wasn't one of my favorite reads, it was beautifully written and at times, incredibly powerful. I really felt for Roy, and found his character to be impactful and we'll developed. I felt some other characters fell a bit flat though. Overall, it was a good exploration of the impacts of incarceration on both a man and his family.
A meaty, satisfying read. Ray and Celestial have been married for less than 2 years when he's incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit. Celestial has no doubts about his innocence, which is what made her consequent actions unforgivable to me. I would certainly try other titles by Jones.
This is a complicated book. Jones writes very well and often is poetic.
I'm surprised some readers found the book flat and unconvincing. On the contrary, I thought the novel was beautifully written. The author painted a picture of a complex and emotional marriage that expresses contemporary challenges. The prose are beautiful; much of the description is richly worded and thoughtfully expressed. It was very gripping.
I think the marriage was in trouble before the incarceration. The wife finds evidence of her husband's wandering eye a couple of times. After he goes to jail she is very quick to have an abortion even though she and her parents could support a child. Would this marriage have lasted had he not gone to jail? Good book for a bookclub.