An American Marriage
Pub Date: 1.29.2018
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆.5
“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.“
“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.”
I’ve had An American Marriage on my reading list for some time now, but I kept pushing it farther back on my reading list. I decided to pick it up for February and read/listen to it through my library.
I want to tell you that I loved this book. On some level, I did. I think what I loved most was the absolute, brutal honesty portrayed by every character. In the beginning, it felt like all of the characters (mainly Roy and Celestial) were tripping over one another, hiding feelings, trying to bury them beneath some facade that they needed to keep.
But, when real-life hit, honesty was the only thing they could give one another. I’m not going to lie; I found myself incredibly frustrated with Celestial and the decision she made after her and Roy’s lives were turned upside down. But, once the story was over, I understood her more. I understood all of them – Roy, Celestial, Andre… every one of them.
“Much of life is timing and circumstance, I see that now.”
An American Marriage was not a happy story. But, I knew that going in. However, it was an honest one, and sometimes, that’s the only thing you can hope for when reading a story.
If you haven’t had a chance to pick this one up, I highly recommend doing so; the audiobook was excellent as the narrators portrayed all of the emotions so well.