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

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.

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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.

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(The entire section contains 466 words.)

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