An American Marriage by Tayari Jones Book Review

click HERE to buy An American Marriage (when you click on my link and make a purchase, I do get paid, so do click and buy)

Synopsis from goodreads

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 tw …more

My thoughts

A toast to my first book review of 2018. Now that that’s out of the way . . .

I enjoyed the book because of how honest it was. Tayari Jones tackled the most discussed topic Black-Americans face in United States, which is injustice with the court and legal system.  Black men being imprisoned without proper findings of guilt and then being left to carry the consequences when the truth of the innocence is ultimately revealed.

I really felt for Roy. A black man who understood that he had to work twice as hard to get ahead in life and in a matter of hours all of his efforts stripped away because he was accused by a White American woman of rape. Without the proper procedure and corrupt judicial system, we learned in the book that he was indeed innocent after serving a term of 5 years. Roy lost everything including his wife all because of being wrongly accused and convicted. As I was reading, I did feel annoyed with Roy at times because he kept reiterating what has been DONE TO HIM. Looking back, I judged him too quickly. ALL these things were DONE TO HIM, he did absolutely nothing wrong for this torture to befall him.

I will describe Celestial as what Black- Americans call the bourgeoisie, or bougie, a term to describe Black-Americans belonging in the upper middle class. Her upbringing led her to believe she could have whatever it is that she wanted in life and we can clearly see that in her relationship with her parents, friend and husband. It would have been the best romantic story if Tayari Jones gave her and her husband an happy ending, but we see the reality of how life moves on regardless of how much we’d like for it to stay the same. We see the pressure of wanting women to remain a certain way and put their life on holds for men. Although I found Celestial selfish at times, I also applaud her for taking charge of her life.

As for Andre, I don’t blame him for stealing the opportunity to get what he wants. Sometimes we miss opportunities by rationalizing everything but in the end we suffer because we weren’t brave enough to truly go after what we want. But yes, his timing was little off, but I can’t hate on him.

Overall, I think Tayari Jones delivered a solid book on the reality of some Black- Americans. I applaud her for tackling tough subjects and not sugar coating the truth. I did think that certain parts of the stories were prolonged for no reason at all. I also wish I had gotten into the mind of some of the other minor characters but that probably would have made the book to long. This was an easy summer read or vacation read.

I will give it 4/5 stars

have you read this An American Marriage? What did you think?

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January 2018 wrap up+Life Lately

this is a long one.

I’m having one of those sleepless nights and I figured why not write my last post for January 2018. I really wasn’t planning on writing this because I genuinely do not know where January went. People keep complaining about how long January has been and I’m saying to myself, “I can’t relate fam!!” I wish the days were longer.

I am also writing to attend to my heart. I’ve just been on the go about a certain specific thing and just focused on that so much that, I’ve literally put “all the feels” away. I think that it has finally caught up with me, hence why I am up writing  this late. I’m sure I will be back focusing on “tasks” tomorrow. But this morning, lets share all the feels.

life lately

  • I am really struggling to trust right now. I don’t really have much to say on this but the fact that I am. I don’t really like the feeling. I’m struggling with people taking their words lightly on very important issues. My biggest dilemma is figuring out if someone is not trustworthy based on one instance, thus completely disqualifying them from the people you are vulnerable with or to take the one instance for what it was as one and not hold it over the person head. I’m leaning more towards the latter.  But if you can’t trust someone with your heart, can you really trust them with anything else? I don’t know. I’m still figuring things out.
  • I probably won’t be blogging as much in February if at all because I have like 3 big things coming up that is absolutely freaking me out but I am also excited about. I cannot wait to share.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about how my life would be if I never have a partner. There is nothing written anywhere that that we will all find someone, but for me, I’ve always thought I would, so I always look forward to that day. But the truth is, that day might never come and I still have to carry on and carry on well. So, lately, I’ve been trying to decide what living well by myself will look like. I want reach a place where I have this solid balance of joy in singleness and hope in meeting my person.
  • everything rides on hope now, everything rides on faith somehow, when the world has broken me down, Your love sets me free- Addison Road

  • Lately, I’ve just been baffled with the idea of people thinking they are helping but in reality they are not. For an example, a random example… someone will say to an alcoholic, “I am not drinking alcohol in front of you because I don’t want you to relapse.” This isn’t bad in itself, but the baffling thing for me is that the person made this decision all on their own without consulting the person they THINK they are helping. I guess instead of assuming you know what is best for someone, just ask, “how can I help you? how can I make things easier for you? would it help if I did this thing or that thing?” People need to just ask. You don’t make decisions for people without their knowledge. I’ve just been feeling or seeing that in my own life and I am annoyed by the arrogance.
  • I am interested in starting a separate natural hair blog, please don’t roll your eyes because I too know there are already many out there. But the many doesn’t include type 4 naturals or kinkier textured hair type, so I want to fill that space. I am thinking more about it and if I decide, it will probably launch by summer time. And yay for me, I will have access to my friends who can take pictures of me. I’m pretty sure I am going to annoy them but eh…
  • Lately, I’ve been trying to be more cheerful, you know live a yellow-ass life but I feel like I am doing it the wrong way. I’m pushing things aside, pretending I don’t feel certain things and just feeling good on the surface. I want to find a way to be authentic about where my heart truly is yet cheerful. 
  • Lately, I’ve been listening to some really good “new” music- new as in, new to me. I don’t really share my love for music here but it really gives me so much joy. Like I can hear a tune and just feel so grateful for music and that I can hear it. hmmm.
  • I also made a basic vision board. But I like being basic because it encompasses how I want my life to be. YELLOW. I’m going to be buying a lot of yellow things in the next few months. hahaha because why not?

  • Lately, I’ve been thinking about death and how in most cases it happens without notice. It reminds me that negative feelings, especially about people do not matter. Why be upset with someone when you can love on them? or even more important why lose your peace because of anger towards someone? Don’t get me wrong, most feelings are valid, but I guess when I think of death, some of the feelings seem like wasted energy. It is also pushing me to attend to things that I am passionate about. But right now, in this moment, I can say that I am not afraid of death. I just want to live with the knowledge that I can die at any moment and that while I am life I am called to live fully. I think sometimes, for most of us, we don’t live the life we want because we think we have time. But we don’t. Right now, I am trying to figure out the life that I want then I am going to pursue it like I know my death is imminent. This is not meant to sound morbid, but really think about it, how would you live your life differently if you accept the fact that you don’t really have a lot of time on this earth. Who would you surround yourself with? where would you go? what would you do with your money? what career would you pursue?

January goals

  • Read the book of common prayers everyday
    • This did not happen. I went strong for about 20 days then I started reading other plans that were needed for that time.
  • Go to the gym at least twice a week
    • This also didn’t happen. I did go 4/8 times. My bank account probably laughs at me every time I complain about money because it sees me just throwing it away to my gym membership. Fix it Jesus
  • Read 2 books
    • Listen, I started 3 books. I didn’t finish any. Why am I like this?
  • Drink more water
    • did that
  • No fast food….Ahhhhh I just thought of chick Fil a. Maybe be just once this month?
    • Prior to making this a goal, I wasn’t really frequenting fast food joints “like that” so I thought this was going to be easy. I had fast food so many times I literally lost count.
  • Visit my nephew and niece at least 4 times this month
    • This didn’t happen either. I did “run” into them once and my niece was asking me not to go. I’m a really crappy aunt. I need to spend more time with them.
  • Pray for people every Sunday I go to church despite how I’m feeling emotionally
    • check

I am not really setting any goals for February because as mentioned, I have a couple of big things coming up and I just want to focus on that for now. But I may write a blog post here and there when I feel inclined to. But will be back to regular posting in the later part of March.

How has life been for you lately? How are your goals coming along?

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

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Summary

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ulti …more

My Thoughts

you are the noor in my eyes and the sultan of my heart.

One of my favorite things about the books were all the potential quotes I can write out and use. It was so full of wisdom. Lets get into the book then…

This book completely rocked my world. The novel is a fictional work but the historical events are not which makes me think that it is possible that people actually went through what the characters in the book endured.

I felt for Mariam’s character the most because even her happy ending wasn’t really happy. She had a mentally unstable mother who commits suicide, a father who openly rejected her and married her off to a man about 3 times her age. She loses 6 babies and is brutally abused by her husband, she has to tolerate a second wife, eventually kills this man and is put to death. But in the end, she is glad that she is dying the way she is. Her acceptance of her death broke my heart just because I was hoping for some type of miracle at the end. Some kind of escape. I guess the reality that you can endure pain till the end of your life with very few laughter is what truly bothered me. That this can be anyone’s reality. I loved that Laila and Tariq found their way back to each other. With the way the story was going, I wasn’t sure there was going to be a happy ending for her either.

Most of us are very fortunate that we come from or live in nations where war isn’t literally at our back door. Some of us have never or will ever experience the sound of bomb or see the body parts of our loved ones blown to pieces before our eyes. But there are people in certain parts of the world who are not as fortunate, people who don’t rejoice over fireworks because it triggers something in them. I just weep and pray for everyone who has had to endure this type of trauma.

My favorite relationship in the book was between Mariam and Laila. The mother-daughter bond that was voluntary and not fueled by blood. Mariam’s commitment to Laila till the very end is the type of #goals I aspire.
Overall, I liked the book. It was so heavy however. Just one tragedy after the next. But a very well written book. Have you read it?