Sunday, June 24, 2018

An American Marriage

Written by: Tayari Jones

First line: There are two kinds of people in the world, those who leave home and those who don't.

Why you should read this book: Roy and Celestial, a young, professional, newlywed couple, have suffered a few setbacks in their first year of marriage, but when Roy is falsely accused and convicted of rape and sentenced to twelve years in prison for being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time, their prospects appear truly bleak. The genius in this book, I think, is the author's use of voice: three separate character are portrayed through the use of first person narrative, with Roy and Celestial's voice changing and maturing over time, and an epistolary chapter comprising Roy's correspondence with his wife and family while incarcerated. In many ways it's an emotionally difficult story, and I'm still not sure how I feel about the payoff at the end, but it's incredibly well-written, provocative and realistic and heartbreaking.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You don't understand why anyone would ever leave home.

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