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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

An American Marriage

There was a lot of buzz around this novel by Tayari Jones and I wanted to see what it was all about. Roy and Celestial have been married for about a year. They are in love but still ironing out the kinks, big and small, in their relationship when Roy is accused of a crime he did not commit and is sentenced to 12 years in prison.This novel explores the effect of the wrongful imprisonment on the couple. The story has three narrators: Celestial, Roy and Celestial's childhood friend, Andre. When Roy is released from prison he and Celeste have been apart much longer than they were together and Roy's life has been stunted by prison while Celeste's artistic career has blossomed. The life-altering losses suffered by Roy and Celestial point to a larger failure of the justice system. This is a powerful message but I'm not sure the book lives up to the critical hype. The characters lacked the necessary depth to make them relatable so I never felt fully engaged (perhaps that's just me?) but it was certainly thought provoking and worth a read.

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