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Review: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage

A marriage. A series of letters. Redemption.

The Bottom Line: An American Marriage is a powerful book (although slow at times) that explores questions of what a marriage is and what love really means. It raises issues about race, family and loyalty. If you enjoy dramas that get nominated for Academy Awards, you will probably enjoy this novel.

Don’t read any synopsis about the book. An American Marriage is definitely a story about a marriage. It’s also a story about love and waiting and redemption and honesty. It’s told through three different perspectives, giving you three sides of the story.

It’s hard not to give this book anything less than 4 stars. The story may appear simple but it’s actually quite complicated and it’s told with brutal honesty. Each character has their own motivations and own challenges. The portrayal feels very believable, each character realistic.

There are no heroes in this story. Each character has their faults and mistakes. And yet, they each compel you into understanding their point of view. I changed my opinion a lot reading this novel and I think it’s a very important read for a lot of different reasons.

Why I didn’t give it a higher rating: there are a few parts where the story is told through letters. It felt like they were crucial times in the plot and I wanted more details. I wanted to connect to the story more in those moments but instead, I felt distanced from it. I can picture it working well in a film adaption of it though. This book would make a powerful movie.

An American Marriage is one of my 19 Books to Read in 2019

Find it on Goodreads.

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