An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
This is, thus far, my favorite book of 2018. I read this in a single sitting, which I have been unable to do since I lost my mind and hand a child. So that should tell you something about how masterful this novel is. A heartbreaking look at how racism and the prison industrial complex ruins lives, Jones gives voice to the innocent and his family during his unfair incarceration. A brand new marriage destroyed, two lives upended forever, An American Marriage is a commentary on the realities of being a person of color in this country and how the justice system will fail you at every turn. This book is a an absolute gut-wrencher so if you're not in the mood to have your heart ripped out of your chest and to be enraged at how unjust our country is, maybe pick up a copy of Bossypants instead.
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, 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. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy's time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward--with hope and pain--into the future.