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An American Marriage is the quintessential book club book, not just because Oprah picked it, but because you could dissect and analyze and argue about these characters and their choices for DAYS. It’s the kind of book where you can’t stop turning pages because you’re dying to know what happens to everyone, but you also have to stop yourself from time to time and just sit with the impossible situation they’re in.

Roy and Celestial have only been married about a year when everything falls apart. Roy is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sentenced to twelve years in prison. Of course Celestial promises to stand by him--that’s what she said in her marriage vows, isn’t it? But how can one year of marriage stand up to so many years apart? And how can she keep her life moving forward when Roy is forced to stand still? On the other hand, how can she let Roy down, when he’s suffering through the worst years of his life despite being an innocent man?

Some books read effortlessly, as if the author is speaking directly into your heart. Tayari Jones is the kind of beautiful, accomplished writer that makes words sing effortlessly off the page. Ever get that feeling where you forget you’re reading and instead you’re just experiencing the story? That was this book for me.

You’ll probably need a cheery pick-me-up read after you finish this one, but some books are worth having your heart broken. Don’t miss this one.