Category Archives: Book Reviews

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 72: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

 

If your spouse was wrongly accused of rape and went to prison for five years but gets released, would you remain married?

That was the question An American Marriage by Tayari Jones attempted to answer in her popular novel.  An American Marriage was selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 2018 and has been a favorite for readers on social media. I had seen many posts about the book over the past couple of years and I finally read it.

The story revolves around newlyweds Celestial and Roy Hamilton and their life in Atlanta. At first, their marriage begins on solid footing and looks promising.  However, when Roy returns to his hometown in Louisiana to visit his parents, everything changes.

Roy gets out of prison five years later and is determined to rekindle his marriage to Celestial. However, she has become lukewarm during his prison time and has a connection to her childhood best friend, Andre.  Eventually, Roy finds out about their connection and returns to Atlanta to confront them.  On the surface, it seems obvious what will happen between the three of them.  Jones does a solid job in showing how a husband would react when he believes his wife is slipping away from him.  I will admit that I did not like Celestial’s choice.  But, I know how love can be complicated and there was no guarantee that Roy would ever be released from prison.

Jones did an exceptional job in showing the connection between fathers and sons.  Roy and Andre’s relationships with their fathers caught my attention, and this subplot added a depth to the novel I did not expect. I thought Roy was the most fully rounded character in the book, and I rooted for him the entire time.

I’m delighted that I finally read this well-received and popular novel. Jones showed how love is fleeting and could change because of life’s circumstances. An American Marriage was a readable, character-driven novel that has movie potential and could be a book club favorite.  It will be one of my favorite reads of 2021.

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 57: Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera

Signs Preceding The End of The World by Yuri Herrera is the first novel about the US-Mexico Border I can remember reading.  I read Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy years ago but it did not deal directly with the current issues about the border. This book came to my attention during the controversy surrounding the novel… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 36: Binti Home by Nnedi Okorafor

Can you ever go home again? Binti Home by Nnedi Okorafor attempts to answer that question. Binti returns home after a year away on a spaceship at Oozma University. She brings her friend, Okwu, for support. However, the homecoming does not go as expected and the family treats Binti like a pariah. She discovers a… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 23: Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck

                “Sometimes a journey can take you far away from home. It can take you far away from what you believe. From the only world you have ever known. And make you realize how much we are connected to each other. Also, how divided we can be.” This… Continue Reading

Book Review 58: Discoverability by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Indie Publishing movement of the past half-dozen years has changed the course of the publishing industry. Publishing books have become a lot easier thanks to eBooks, Amazon, and other Print-on-Demand (POD) publishers.  Would-be-novelists (like myself) that have tried to break into Traditional publishing have finally found an avenue to get their works out to… Continue Reading