Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Sunday, July 22, 2018

An American Marriage

An American Marriage
By Tayari Jones
Algonquin Books 2018
308 pp.

A wonderful book about marriage. The characters are all African-Americans living in the South. However, it is for anyone married, thinking about marriage and the formerly married. “What happens to you doesn’t belong to you, only half concerns you. It’s not yours, not yours only” This quote by Claudia Rankine, is the central theme of the novel.

A young happily married couple’s life is interrupted when Roy is sentenced to 12 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. There is a bit about southern prison life. The book is about what happens to anyone in relationships. The couple, the parents of Roy and Celestial are explored and how they affect their children. Then there is Andre who falls in love with Celestial while Roy is in jail. Hopes, dreams and business lives intertwine with the values of all the characters. The story gives a first-rate picture of middle class Black life in the South today. There is also an undercurrent of faith that runs gently through this rich, entertaining and moving book.