An American Marriage
The winner of this year’s Women’s Prize, this is a brilliant and nuanced book about Celestial and Roy, a middle class black couple who have been married for a year when Roy gets wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. The book is about the miscarriage of justice, but the real story is told through the many subtle repercussions of the sentence on their relationship; gender roles, cultural expectations and what it means to be a wife and a husband when you have no freedom or agency. Each chapter alternates between their two perspectives so you experience their different take on the same events. A clever and absorbing examination of love, race, justice and identity.
LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL FICTION, 2019
SHORTLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
‘A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.’ – Barack Obama
A Book of the Year according the i, Guardian, Sunday Times, Sunday Mail
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of the American Dream. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit.
Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together.
A masterpiece of storytelling, An American Marriage offers a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three unforgettable characters who are at once bound together and separated by forces beyond their control.
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