Audiobook Review, General Fiction (Adult)

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American MarriageAn American Marriage by Tayari Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d been hearing about this book everywhere for a while when I finally decided to check it out from the library. I had no idea what it was about (I tend not to read the teasers of books) and was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it.

Tayari Jones wrote a book that was so simple but, despite it’s short length, managed to capture the complexity of marriage. Further, the author presented various social topics (i.e. race, incarceration, sexual assault, etc.) without being overtly political. I very much enjoyed the content.

The short description of this book: An African American man is wrongfully convicted of rape and finds himself behind bars in Federal prison. Devastated, his wife stands by his side, writing letters and visiting with the hopes that he will eventually be released and they can resume their lives. However, time takes its toll. And when he is finally released years later, will their marriage still be the same?

I thought it was super interesting to see the impact incarceration has on relationships and family dynamics. I haven’t read a book that had a person of color as the main character in some time and it was a refreshing change. The audiobook was done extremely well and the narration constantly reminded me that persons of color were the primary focus of the prose.

My absolute favorite part of the book was the portion when the husband and wife were writing letters to each other while he was incarcerated. You could feel the dynamic change as the letters progressed through time and it was fascinating. There were perhaps a few lulls in the book where I felt like it was slow but it eventually picked up and had a satisfying ending.

I’ve seen many book clubs seeking recommendations for books written or involving persons of color or strong female leads. This would be a great option.

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