An American Marriage

So last summer I was lucky to attend the Well Read Black Girl festival in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Among many other fantastic speakers, Tayari Jones was on stage to talk about authorship and writing. She read an excerpt from this novel and I knew then I had to read this book. Usually, I have to pick between amazing characters or a deep plot/idea or gorgeous writing. This book has all three.

I won’t go into too much detail – the best part about the story is learning about this couple, their friends and family. The marriage in question isn’t just the young couple but their parents and others around them. It examines love and how we each want to be loved and how love.

This is a novel that can be applied to anyone married in America but at the same time very specific to black men and women; how history, race, class, education, circumstances of birth and ambition play a part in how we view ourselves and others. It plays a part in how we are treated and thought of – whose story and truth gets told proudly and what gets kept secret.

This is a wonderful example of literary fiction that reads like real life but told in gorgeous prose.

The thing I hear the most often about this book is – Tayari Jones does an amazing job of making you feel for each and every character. The book is ambiguous in who is right – because often in life,  there is no easy answers – just the road in front of you and your next step.

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