Roy and Celestial are living the upwardly mobile, black Atlanta dream when suddenly Roy is arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison for something he didn't do. The vast majority of marriages don’t make it when one partner is incarcerated. Will Roy and Celestial’s?
Their marriage (and marriage, period) is the laser focus of the novel, but important themes of race and mass incarceration are woven deftly into the story. A page-turner, an Oprah Book Club pick, and a cultural touchstone, An American Marriage provokes empathy, understanding, sorrow, and maybe even advocacy.
Racism and mass incarceration are two cancers in the U.S. right now. Could part of the cure be reading stories that help us understand more about both? Fair warning: This book would be rated R if it were a movie. (Algonquin)