Welcome back and thank you for bearing with me as I catch up on a couple months’ worth of book reviews for y’all. I’m sitting in Starbucks enjoying my drink of choice, a Skinny Vanilla Latte, while I share my thoughts on March’s book: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. (Like always, if you didn’t catch my previous post about how my virtual book club works, please click here, and then come back!)
The ladies of the group chose this book for a couple of reasons: It was a 2018 Oprah’s Book Club pick and had great reviews, and this year the author is speaking at the “San Antonio Book Festival”. Unfortunately, I’ll be unable to attend the festival this year, but for those interested, click here.
Disclaimer: An American Marriage is the first book we’ve read that was politically and societally charged. It touched on three prominent themes in today’s world: race, justice, and marriage.
Readers are brought on a journey with an African-American newlywed couple navigating their way through marriage. Up until a major event derails their lives forever, Roy and Celestial are both young, successful, career-driven Southerners who are struggling to find their place in their marriage while fulfilling their career dreams- one more so than the other, you’ll see. Then one night, due to ignorance and being at the wrong place at the wrong time, Roy is accused of something he had no part in and is arrested, charged and sentenced to years in federal prison. Written in the perspective of both Roy, Celestial, and their long-time friend Andre, the book focuses on how and if a marriage can survive such a blind-siding blow. Can love overcome it all? Will justice ever be delivered?
The ladies and I found ourselves asking those exact questions as we sat down to discuss this book. If I was in Celestial’s position, would I have waited around for my husband? We all adamantly agreed on one thing, though. We knew what was coming with Andre! :P I understand I being vague with my review at this point, but I’m trying not to give anything away. You’ll just have to read it to see what I mean.
To be frank, I’m still unsure about whether I liked this book or not. I thought the writing “voice” was refreshing, but I tend not to enjoy books with such heavy themes. I read to escape society, not for it to be thrown in my face so blatantly. Again, just my opinion… Nonetheless, this was one of the more thought-provoking books we’ve read. It was a healthy discussion that I’m glad we had.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this book if you’ve read it before. If you plan on it, come back and share with me your feelings afterwards.
I can’t wait to share with you my thoughts on April’s book choice: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.