A husband is wrongfully accused of rape and convicted to twelve years in prison. A wife tries to remain strong while he’s gone. Their back and forth letters are touching. It was like I was able to peer into their personal lives and feel some of what they felt. As a woman, some of the letters Roy wrote to Celestial made be angry, and yet here he is, a black man tried and treated unfairly. A man whose home is a prison full of many hopeless men.
As I read more, I became intrigued with the characters. Sometimes I wanted to tell them to wake up…a sign of a good book. Near the end I realized that my not being black made the story hard for me to read in places. I don’t understand what it means to be a black young person, especially a man, in this day. I can’t relate because of the privileges I’ve had being born white and being married to a white man. Oh my…I need to understand, want to understand. I’ll quote Celestial, “Accident of birth is the number one predictor of happiness.” Recently my husband was pulled over by a white deputy for a traffic violation while I was with him. My husband, even though he felt like the officer had been unnecessarily rough with him, was given a mere warning. Would it have concluded differently if he’d been black? We both had the feeling it would have. An American Marriage brings all these points home in a timely fashion without being preachy or even political.
I was happy with the ending even though it wasn’t what I expected. This book unquestionably made me think. I hope I’ve tried to summarize the book in a relatable way. This was a 5 star book for me.
Oh, by the way, http://www.tayarijones.com/did a book talk near us, and we were able to go! What a delight, to hear her speak AND meet her afterwards! I’m looking forward to reading her other books!