Tag Archives: Book Club Reading List

Review: An American Marriage

An American Marriage

An American Marriage
By Tayari Jones
Algonquin Books, 9781616208684, 2019, 336pp.

The Short of It:

Not what I expected. Tense, but exhausting.

The Rest of It:

Roy and Celestial are newly married. Both, have promising careers on the verge of success but one night, Roy is falsely accused of rape and they are torn from one another. It doesn’t matter that his alibi is solid, he’s black and the woman accusing him of the crime is not backing down. Roy is sentenced to twelve years for a crime he did not commit. Celestial is left wondering how to navigate this kind of marriage. Is it a marriage? Can she commit to a marriage like this? One where your husband is behind bars for twelve years?

This was a difficult read for me. These characters flirt with virtue and then do the opposite, over and over again. Although I could see their logic and often their justification for their actions, I quickly grew tired of the push and pull.

Additionally, I really had a problem with how Celestial is made out to be a piece of property over and over again. It didn’t fit her personality as she is very strong-willed and independent. Perhaps that’s why it bothered me so much that the author even went there. There is an entire section of the book where she’s referred to as “my woman” and that just rubbed me the wrong way.

Is An American Marriage a good book for a club to discuss? I think there is plenty to discuss. Between the false accusations and imprisonment, what it means to be married, the issues centering around race and class, and the importance of family, a group would have plenty to chew on.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Testaments

The Testaments

The Testaments
By Margaret Atwood
Nan A. Talese, 9780385543781, September 2019, 432pp.

The Short of It:

A solid follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale and although it’s been years since I’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale, I did not need a refresher before reading this one.

The Rest of It:

Gilead. A place where women are assigned to a certain order based on their “talents”. Some are married off to high-profile men to live a somewhat respectable life, surrounded by other women to cater to whatever they may need, even a baby if they cannot have one naturally. Other women are tasked with finding more women like them. Others, find themselves fighting for the resistance in the form of “Mayday”.

The Testaments focuses on Baby Nicole, who was whisked away from Gilead years ago. Much effort is spent trying to find her but the people involved in her disappearance have organized to the point where her disappearance and her eventual re-introduction is all part of a much larger plan to take Gilead down.

This novel would have been captivating all by itself but reading it during the Supreme Court confirmation process, and realizing how much is currently at stake in the area of women’s reproductive rights, was chilling to say the least.

I enjoyed this read. Atwood is a great storyteller and quickly pulls you in. My only complaint is that it was a little hard to keep track of all the “Aunts”. I often had to go back a few pages to remind myself who was who. My club chose this for our discussion this month and I think it’s a book that needs to be discussed so I am hoping for some good conversation.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.