This book review contains plot details and spoilers from An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. It is intended for readers who have already read this book. You have been warned!!
The Slanted Spines 2020 Booklist reading for March was An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, a 2018 selection for Oprah’s Book Club. In this novel, Celestial and Roy are living out their childhood dreams of success. They’ve been married for just a year when a Roy is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, and due to a faulty justice system, he spends five years in prison despite his innocence. However, during Roy’s absence from free life, Celestial forms a relationship with their mutual friend, Andre. When Roy is finally released, Roy, Celestial, and Andre find themselves in a complicated love triangle. What is love, and to whom do we owe what?
Continue reading “An American Marriage: A Book Review” →
What is your proudest accomplishment in life? I’m going to stall here for a moment while you think about your answer to this question. Mighty fine weather we’re having, huh? Doo doo doo—oh, I love this song! Yes-sir-ee, looks like a beautiful day. Okay, and… Time! What did you come up with for your proudest accomplishment?
Continue reading “The Struggle is Real… Important” →
This book review is intended for readers who have already finished Everything I Never Told You! My analysis contains several spoilers.
The Slanted Spines February book was Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng! In this haunting portrait of the Lee family, Ng illustrates a web of complicated relationships and unspoken emotional turmoil between the five members of a Chinese American household in smalltown Ohio during the 1970’s. Everything I Never Told You is a novel that begins with the death of Marilyn and James’ middle (and favorite) child Lydia, and as her mom and older brother Nath swear to discover the root of her senseless death—her body having been discovered in the nearby lake—and as her dad and younger sister Hannah struggle to cope with her absence, a myriad of secrets within her family are unveiled.
Continue reading “Everything I Never Told You: A Book Review” →
[A Note from the Reviewer on 10/21/2021:
Continue reading “Where the Crawdads Sing: A Book Review” →
It has been almost two years since I read this book. At the time, I was incredibly taken by it, and as you’ll read in this review, I spoke highly of its craft and contents. However, in the time since, I have read significantly more books, and I have learned some disturbing information.
Although I will leave my original blog post intact (for now), I would like to comment that I no longer stand by my previous praise. It was an enjoyable read for me at the time, but in hindsight, I now feel that it is a very mediocre book. True, the writing is pretty strong in many cases, but it is not as strong a work of fiction as many other books I’ve read more recently.
Moreover, I have discovered some information regarding Delia Owens and her husband Mark Owens. In a very thorough The New Yorker piece, their complicated actions in Africa allegedly connect them with the hunting and killing of poachers. Though a theoretically just cause, the methods employed are quite ethically questionable and perhaps even racially motivated. All in all, the information makes me feel uncomfortable lauding this book, and while I would typically leave this blog post to collect dust and forget it in the abyss that is the Web, it appears that viewers are still clicking on this post to this day, so I wanted to add this disclaimer.
Do what you will with this insight.]
Even if you’ve never been in a courtroom, you’ve probably seen it portrayed on TV before. There’s usually an audience, maybe a jury, defendants and plaintiffs, and then there’s the person who sits above everyone else, appointed to decide what happens to people who make mistakes through their supreme ability to judge others. That’s what the judge does—-forms an opinion and decrees this is the right order everyone will obey.
Sounds kind of harsh, but sometimes we can be harsh, like the judge, without realizing it.
Continue reading “Judgment Overruled” →
Hey there, it’s your inner victim speaking, and I was just wondering if we could have a quick word. It’ll only take a moment! I have something I need to get off my chest! Oh, you… You mean you didn’t know you had an inner victim? Funny thing about that, I’ve been kind of living here the past couple decades…
You should probably listen to what he has to say. I mean, whether you wanted to or not, you’ve been subconsciously listening to his whispers all this time. Oh yeah, everyone has an inner victim. Continue reading “Victim Vacancy” →
People want to talk to me about proper grammar when they find out I went to school for English and writing. They want to hear what I have to say about English these days and how people are using the language–well, really, they want to hear an eloquent diss on peoples who don’t talk good. At my job, I once served a woman who perked up after hearing I studied English; she asked, “So what do you think we should do to get people to speak proper English?”
People want me to go off on a rant about the difference between “their” and “they’re” and how “ain’t” isn’t a word, but they won’t get that from me. Funnily enough, after studying English for three and a half years at a university, my collegiate conclusion is that… English doesn’t matter.
Continue reading “Language Changes.” →
Nothing beautiful can be done with a gun.
I mean that, too, because I’ve been brainstorming what guns do and time and time again I come back to death and injury. The possibilities keep circling around to atrocity. And so I’m left to feel, achingly, that nothing beautiful can be done with a gun.
Continue reading “Abandon Arms” →