Tag Archives: Oprah’s Book Club

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.

Anticipation

Oprah's Book Club

Oprah announces her book club pick today (as if you didn’t know). I think this is about the only time that I watch Oprah. I used to love her show but there was one show where she blasted a major hotel chain for not allowing her to bring her dogs with her. I could see how a dog lover could take offense to that, but she claimed that she was Oprah, and therefore, the hotel should have made an exception. Ever since that episode, I have been lukewarm over Oprah.

BUT…

The books that are chosen for her book club are usually discussion-worthy. Some might say depressing, but I think all of them have been pretty good picks for the most part. So, what’s she going to pick today? Some say she is going to pick this…

Freedom

I don’t know. There’s been a lot of buzz over this book, and supposedly, someone leaked a photo of this cover with the Oprah seal on it, but I don’t know. She wasn’t too pleased with Franzen’s previous statements about her show and after all, she IS Oprah (don’t you forget it). What do you think? You think she is willing to go down that path again?

If you think she is going to pick another book, then which one? I am horrible as guessing these things but it would be fun to see what you think.

UPDATE: Yep! She picked Freedom! It’s already posted on her website.