Tayari Jones: An American Marriage

This review is written with thanks to The Mirror Book Club for my copy of An American Marriage.


Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of the American Dream. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day 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. Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together.

A masterpiece of storytelling, An American Marriage offers a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three unforgettable characters who are at once bound together and separated by forces beyond their control.


Tayari Jones is an incredibly talented writer. An American Marriage gives the reader some really emotional insight into what it means to be married, and I loved her ability to put into words emotions and concepts that are not tangible, in a way that made it easy for me to connect with the characters.

An American Marriage is told from the point of view of all its central characters. This really helped me to understand how the events in the novel had affected them. Each of the characters has both likeable and unlikeable traits, which made them human and easy to relate to. There was a section in the novel which was written in the form of letters and I felt this enhanced this effect.

Through An American Marriage, Jones explores a range of themes, particularly racism, relationships and grief. They are particular relevant to society at the moment and Jones deals with them in such a way that doesn’t preach but still made me think about the issues within the pages. These characters and the issues they face will stay with me for some time.

An American Marriage is available from Amazon.

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