An American Marriage

by Tayari Jones

Wow. There’s so much to talk about here. First of all, on June 4, 2019, this book won the coveted Women’s Prize for Fiction. And that’s not the first prize it won. It is heavily lauded, and perhaps its most popular honor is that it was selected for Oprah’s Book Club.

All that said, Tayari Jones is a rising star in the fiction arena. An American Marriage depicts a marriage that is upended by racial injustice. The husband is arrested for a crime he did not commit. The ramifications are far-reaching and devastating. Jones does a fabulous job at taking us inside the characters’ heads and helping us feel all the feelings. She tells a story that asks moral questions, and offers ambiguous answers.

Innocent men in prison is beyond a worrisome issue – especially when paired with racial injustice. Add to that a desire to become a father, the missing father, the surrogate father, and a proud father who wants the best for his little girl. The other looming issue is the strength of a marriage bond. Tragedy can shake any marriage, but what does it take to make a marriage strong enough to endure an unholy shaking? And what happens when somebody isn’t sure the marriage is worth saving?

These are great questions to ask. They are great questions to discuss at book club. Trust me, our book club discussion on this book was deep! I loved reading this #ownvoices author. She writes from a beautiful perspective that needs to be heard. Read. Seen. And honestly? She presented an aspect of American Culture that I have never seen presented with such poignant grace.

Highly recommend! Lots to chew on here, and tons of food for thought.

Content: some cussing, a few sex scenes – not graphic

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