Literary Fiction

An American Marriage

by Tayari Jones

Quick take

Celestial and Roy are a year into marriage when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. After he's exonerated, they must try to save a relationship that may have been damaged beyond repair.

Good to know

  • Heavy Read

  • Social Issues


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. T...

Member thoughts

55% Love
38% Like
5% Dislike
  • Melissa A.

    Elizabeth, NJ

    "An interesting look into the strength of our closest relationships. How long would it take for an “unbreakable” bond to break? "

  • Christopher T.

    Huntersville, NC

    "A wonderfully written story with rich characters and a well thought out storyline, the struggles marriage brings and the choices we must make."

  • Anna K.

    Brooklyn, NY

    "Talk about real. A story that manages to be heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. "

  • Corinne T.

    Yorba Linda, CA

    "Such a beautifully written book that will stay with me for a long time. "

  • Florence C.

    Pittsburgh, PA

    "Powerful, refreshing, and raw. An intimate and honest look at race, class, mass incarceration, marriage, gender stereotypes, and what we owe each other. "

  • Benita B.

    Denver, CO

    "I was in awe of the writing, the twists and turns of the plot (some of which were happy surprises and some of which were very sad), and I was so enthralled with each and every character. Readers should know that this book is more than a love story; it is an examination of how life's sudden turns can define or redefine us."

  • Jessica L.

    Dedham, MA

    "I felt so torn reading this book! I wasn't sure who I was rooting for in end the end!"

  • Devon S.

    Bagdad , KY

    "An incredible story about being torn apart by negative circumstances and picking up the pieces."

  • Jennifer R.

    Rock Port, MO

    "Can Celestial stay married to a man behind bars? Is he the same man she married? Is it fair to ask her to wait for him? Is a marriage based on love or circumstance? Find the answer."

  • Megan A.

    Kansas City, MO

    "I loved that it switched between characters’ perspectives—changing the reader’s perspective as well—and challenges ethical mores. "

  • Celina B.

    Waco, TX

    "LOVED this book. The characters were real. I couldn't put it down. I will definately recommend it."