An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Celestial and Roy are married a little over a year when Roy is arrested and convicted of an crime he did not commit. Roy is African-American and the woman accusing him is white and swears he is the man who assaulted her; the judge sentences him to twelve years. Roy and Celestial try to keep their marriage alive through visits and letters, but after a few years they stop communicating. Five years after his sentencing he is acquitted and free to leave. Can a newly formed marriage survive a twelve or even five year separation? How often should a spouse be expected to make the overnight journey from Georgia to Louisiana, while running her business and making a life for herself outside prison? Should a husband behind bars expect her to wait for him? Does it matter that he is innocent? Will they be the same people after five or twelve years go by?
When I heard the author speak she said she knew she wanted to write about black men in prison for crimes they didn’t commit but she didn’t want to write about the legal workings behind the convictions and acquittals, she wanted to write about the people and lives they leave behind. What does it do to their aging parents? Their wives? Their children? The author asks the hard questions and there are hard answers but she does paint a vivid picture of what can happen in a marriage.
Place your holds now, this book comes out on February 6th, 2018.