Characters

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 299

An American Marriag e is a 2018 novel by Tayari Jones. It tells the story of Roy and Celestial, a married middle-class African American couple who live in Atlanta. The lives of Roy and Celestial are devastated when Roy is wrongfully convicted of rape. The story is told through the...

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An American Marriage is a 2018 novel by Tayari Jones. It tells the story of Roy and Celestial, a married middle-class African American couple who live in Atlanta. The lives of Roy and Celestial are devastated when Roy is wrongfully convicted of rape. The story is told through the perspectives of three narrators, Roy, Celestial, and Andre.

Roy Othaniel Hamilton Jr. is the husband of Celestial Davenport. He works in sales and marketing and has been married to Celestial for 18 months when he is accused, and wrongfully convicted of rape. He is sentenced to twelve years in prison. Whilst in prison Roy discovers that his cellmate, Walter, is his biological father. After he has served two years Celestial ends their relationship. She has developed a relationship with Roy’s friend Andre. Roy serves a total of five years and returns home hoping to reconcile with his wife. However, the relationship ends and Roy moves in with and becomes engaged to old schoolfriend Davina Hardrick.

Celestial Gloria Davenport is from a wealthy family in Atlanta. Married to Roy she is a hardworking but struggling artist. Very unhappy during Roy’s imprisonment she turns to her and Roy’s neighbor and friend Andre for support. Although she moves in with Andre she does not divorce Roy while he is in prison. When Roy is released Celestial tries to repair their marriage for his sake but, ultimately, she returns to Andre. She is pregnant when the novel ends.

Andre Maurice Tucker is an old college friend of Roy’s and a lifelong friend of Celestial. He feels guilty about his relationship with Celestial but admits that he has loved her his whole life. He is a kind and respectful man who does not pursue Celestial but waits for her to turn to him.

Characters

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 167

The three main characters of An American Marriage by Tayari Jones are Roy, Celestial, and Andre.

Roy and Celestial are a young, middle-class, black married couple in the South enjoying their new life together when their happiness is torn apart by a false identification of Roy as the perpetrator of a crime of which both of them know he is innocent. Roy's career as a young executive is upended and he lands a twelve-year prison sentence. Celestial, an artisan with a growing market, is also blindsided but does her best to maintain her career while providing the emotional and psychological support for her husband who vacillates between rage and impotence at the injustice of his fate.

Celestial reaches out to a childhood friend and the best man at their wedding, Andre, for emotional support and she eventually finds herself in a love triangle. When Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned after five years he returns to Atlanta with the expectation of resuming his life with his wife Celestial.

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