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Search tags: Tayari-Jones
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review 2020-06-29 02:30
And then everything changed.
An American Marriage - Tayari Jones For some reason, I stopped listening half way through this book and then picked it up again at least a month later. By that time I'd also listened to Secret Sister, Tayari Jones's more recent book. It was interesting to be able to compare the two, and without doubt, An American Marriage was definitely my favourite. Celestial and Roy are a coloured couple living in the American South. They have done well for themselves; Roy is an up-coming executive, while Celeste is embarking on a successful career, crafting speciality dolls. They are blissfully happy together, until one fateful night, when Roy is blamed for a crime that he didn't commit. This has an understandably devastating effect on their marriage and the book investigates the outcome as it unfolds. Misrepresentation of justice can happen to anyone, but it's more likely if you're black. In a flash, a law abiding, well educated man can find himself wrongly accused and living in a prison cell. It's an earth shattering event and there's not a thing he can do. My book club chose this several months ago; none of the riots and pulling down of statues had even begun, but it's easy to see why the current movement has swept through society and why change is needed. An excellent book, well worth reading. Well narrated by Sean Crisden and Eisa Davis.
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review 2020-06-24 21:36
How does it feel to be the secret family?
Silver Sparrow - Tayari Jones

I heard this book being discussed in an on-line book festival and it sounded fascinating. (...so I guess on-line festivals do work for disseminating new titles.)
The premise of the book appealed to me: one father with two wives and two similarly aged daughters, only one of whom was aware the other existed. The families are both coloured, which is topical right now, although the current movement had not started when my book group made the book choice.

The first half of the book is narrated by Dana. She knows she has a sister and that her father spends most of the week with his 'other' family. She and her mother go spying on Chaurisse and her mother and accept that they are the secret family. They live in the same town but cannot attend the same school - and Chaurisse always get first pick.
The second half is narrated by Chaurisse, who eventually meets up with Dana and is impressed by her beauty and confidence, but mystified by her secrecy.

Although things are obviously going to come to a head eventually, I thought the run-up to this was quite slow. There is a lot of back-story, covering both families and several sets of grandparents; it's not a book that you can easily put down and come back to.

Having recently finished An American Marriage by the same author, I wasn't so impressed with the ending of Silver Sparrow. I gave An American Marriage 4 stars, but the disappointing ending dropped Silver Sparrow to 3.5 for me.

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text 2019-08-20 10:52
Bout Of Books Day #2
An American Marriage - Tayari Jones

Todays challenge:  Adaptation Aspirations

What book would you like to see adapted for another medium? What would be your preferred format? Movie? TV Show? Broadway musical? Something else? If you want to elaborate even further, who would you cast to play the characters? Who would you want to write the script/screenplay? Write the music? Direct? Are there adaptations that exist that you think could be better? Tell us all about your aspirations for the perfect adaptation!
 
I'd love to see An American Marriage by Tayari Jones adapted to film and guess what? Oprah Winfrey is doing just that! I'd like to see Zoe Scaldana as Celestial, Dule Hill as Roy and Dolvette Quince as Andre. I absolutely can't wait for this to come out. It wasn't a 5 star read, but something about it has really stayed with me.
 
 
 
 
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review 2019-07-05 00:00
An American Marriage
An American Marriage - Tayari Jones Ingeniously constructed and extremely well written, a novel that held my attention from the very first page and the audible version was exquisite

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embarking on life as a married couple when their world is ripped apart by the arrest of Roy for a crime they know he didn't commit.

A story partly told through a series of letters really bring a freshness to this novel. The writing is vivid and beautiful and I wanted to stop the audio so many times just to recapture some of the wonderful phrases and statements written so eloquently in this novel. I was so lucky to have a hard copy of this book as well but as it was on loan to me I just couldn’t highlight or mark up the pages. I am not a fan of Oprah’s choices but this one really worked for me as the characters and their actions felt very true to life and I could visualize the people and places so clear in my mind. I loved the ending and for me it worked so well.

When I was mad, I didn't raise my voice. Instead, I lowered it to a register that you heard with your bones not your ears

Gloria once told me your best quality is also your worst
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review 2019-07-04 23:11
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
An American Marriage - Tayari Jones

An American Marriage recently won the woman’s prize for fiction, a story surrounding a couple and what happens to their marriage when the man is put in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

 

The narrative is split into three, with the most time being given to the husband (Roy) and his wife (Celestial). The third narrative stream is that of Celestial's best friend, Andre. I think this worked, although I didn’t see it as wholly necessary that we have Andre’s perspective. It didn’t add a huge amount to the novel and I didn’t find his voice very distinctive. His perspective was sometimes interesting, though and his own portions in the book were minimal.

 

The disintegration of a marriage was the real star of this book. It didn’t happen quickly, but was gradually fed to the reader making it very believable. I found both Celestial and Roy very authentic and could almost feel Roy’s frustration at being locked away and unable to actively participate in events that were impacting his life.

 

What I really liked about this book is the unapologetic way it handled itself. Celestial made choices I completely disagreed with, but I could still empathize with her. This shows a real skill the author has in forming characters. Roy was fantastically portrayed as well. I sensed the change in him after his time in prison. It would have been unrealistic to have him as the same man when he came out of prison as when he went in, but this didn’t happen. He was different in subtle ways and I could understand Celestial’s apprehension towards him.

 

A deft character study concerning a topic that needs more attention. I highly recommend it.

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