No of Pages: 320
Publication House: Algonquin Books
Date of Publication: February 06, 2018
Should Buy: Yes
Book Source: Personal Collection
Star Rating: 4.5/5
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.
Words That Touched My Heart ❤
Someone always pays. Bullet don’t have nobody’s name on it, that’s what people say. I think the same is true for vengeance. Maybe even for love. It’s out there, random and deadly, like a tornado.
Title: It is apt to the story as it depicts that the plotline is about a marriage.
Title Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: The tree in the cover plays a very important role in the story, so it’s completely in sync with the book.
Cover Rating: 4.5/5
Characters: Roy: A son, a husband and a dreamer. Roy’s character is educated and hard working. He is the true depiction of an innocent man who has been falsely accused and put through insinuating circumstances. He knew it is not fair but stayed brave through the journey.
Celestial: An artist with big dreams who fell in love with Roy and decided to marry him. They had a short span of bliss but she tried to stay strong while separation. She is an extremely strong and independent person with an emotional side towards certain aspects of her life.
Andre: He is Celestial’s childhood friend and has tried his best throughout to do the right thing. He tried his best to not steal Celestial but maybe the time and place were not right. He did feel guilty about the way things happened but his feelings to both Roy and Celestial have been sincere.
Characters Rating: 4.5/5
Review: The story moves forward with a heartbreaking yet beautiful exchange of letters which depict how hard real life is. Reading love stories where everything ends well is every reader’s happy place but this is what reality looks like. Being torn apart from a new marriage, it shows the struggle to stay loyal while you know your husband is gone for 12 years, which is way longer than the time Roy and Celestial spent together.
The book is a page-turner, you wipe your eyes, you feel sorry and yet you want the hurting to stop. While the characters are in agony you can feel their pain as you take the journey with them. The book is an easy read and you feel as if you are an onlooker, peeking into the personal moments of 3 characters trying to figure out life after Roy’s incarceration. Roy’s parents are wretched from the loss yet stay brave for their kid.
The story is any real person’s thoughts who might be going through similar life situation. It’s easy to relate to the characters as you feel their happiness, pain and dreads. It depicts that life is not easy and full of complicated situations and decisions.
Story Rating: 4.5/5
Appreciation: Tayari has taken the readers on a journey that is unforgetful and etched to the memory forever. The way she has depicted people, a person might say yes I know people like this with these struggles. She is not encouraging cheating on your partner yet she shows how hard life is for innocent Roy whose only crime was to dream a life with his wife. She shows the racial impartiality that is still showed on people of color.
Let Downs: I can’t say how desperately I hoped for the end to be different but I guess then it won’t be reality then. I have nothing but only praise for Jones for the insightful journey.
Surprise Factor: The whole book is a surprise right from Roy’s incarceration.
Would I be reading more from Tayari Jones: YES! YES! YES! I would read everything she ever writes in future. She has touched chords of my heart that I didn’t even know existed.
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