Hello friends. This post is a collection of quotes from the book - An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward - with hope and pain - into the future.

Quotes

Home isn’t where you land; home is where you launch.

You can’t pick your home any more than you can choose your family. In poker, you get five cards. Three of them you can swap out, but two are yours to keep: family and native land.

If you’re going to be black and struggling, the United States is probably the best place to do it.

Nobody can really satisfy their mama when it comes to the ladies.

If you have a woman, you recognize when you have said the wrong thing. Somehow she rearranges the ions in the air and you can’t breathe as well.

This is how it is when you really have a baby. You ’ve your own angel.

The way to make a bad matter worse with a southern woman is to refuse her food.

I liked being stronger than she was, the way I could literally sweep her off her feet. She wouldn’t tell me either, but I know that she appreciated it, too.

It was a wonderful feeling to be grown and yet young. To be married but not settled. To be tied down yet free.

Memory is a queer creature, an eccentric curator.

A million dollars doesn’t make you rich-rich. Real rich people don’t have to earn their money.

Love is the enemy of sound judgment, and occasionally this is in service of the good.

Sometimes when you like where you end up, you don’t care how you got there.

Maybe that’s what innocence is, having no way to predict the pain of the future.

When something happens that eclipses the imaginable, it changes a person. It’s like the difference between a raw egg and a scrambled egg. It’s the same thing, but it’s not the same at all.

Love makes a place in your life, it makes a place for itself in your bed. Invisibly, it makes a place in your body, rerouting all your blood vessels, throbbing right alongside your heart. When it’s gone, nothing is whole again.

You don’t know how demoralizing it is to be a man with nothing to offer a woman.

I hate using that word, career. It always feels like the word bitch is hiding out between the letters.

When a woman tells you she is having your baby, your first mind is to get the hell out. It’s like if the house is on fire. You don’t think to escape, you just do. It’s human nature because you know she is asking you for your whole life. And a man don’t have but one life.

You got to work with the god you were given. You also have to work with the love you are given, with all of the complications clanging behind it like tin cans tied to a bridal sedan.

What’s for you is for you. Extend your hand and claim your blessing.

When a woman shuts you out, picking the lock won’t let you back in.

You can never know another person’s mind; this is one thing I have learned.

Marriage is like grafting a limb onto a tree trunk. You have the limb, freshly sliced, dripping sap, and smelling of springtime, and then you have the mother tree stripped of her protective bark, gouged and ready to receive this new addition.

Three takes you from being a couple to being a family, upping the consequences for walking away, upping the pleasure quotient for staying home.

It’s the magician’s manual that shows you how the tricks are done, not with sorcery but with careful cues and mysterious devices.

I never imagined myself to be the kind of woman who would find herself with both a husband and a fiancé.

I respect his ambition; I had mine. But you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with a man who has something to prove.

There should be a word for this, the way it feels to steal something that’s already yours.

There was comfort in the truth, no matter how difficult.

Well, somebody in your situation needs to look at life like a newborn baby. Pretend like you have never been in the world before and you’re waiting for it to show you what’s what. Keep your head in the right now.

Innocent or not, prison changes you, makes you into a convict.

Much of life is timing and circumstance, I see that now.

Human emotion is beyond comprehension, smooth and uninterrupted, like an orb made of blown glass.

You don’t know what you need until somebody gives it to you exactly the way you need it gave.

Somewhere it is written that your sins fall on your parents, mostly on your mother, until you’re twelve years old. After that, your trespasses are on your own scorecard.

We have no secrets from God. He knows our feelings because He made them. When you confess your sins, He will bless you for your courage. He will bless you for your humility.

There are too many loose ends in the world in need of knots. You can’t attend to all of them, but you have to try.

A man who is a father to a daughter is different from one who is a father to a son. One is the left shoe and the other is the right. They are the same but not interchangeable.

No man likes the rusty-butt who is laying up next to his daughter.

I don’t believe that blood makes a family; kin is the circle you create, hands held tight.

Tell the truth. Don’t try to cushion the blow. If you’re bad enough to do it, you’re bad enough to tell it.

That’s your fate as a black man. Carried by six or judged by twelve.

Even a dog can make a bunch of puppies, but a real man raises his kids.

Sometimes the only thing that can cure a man is the inside of a woman, the right woman who does things the right way.

There should be a word, I thought, for this experience when you’re surprised but at the same time the moment feels completely inevitable.

A woman doesn’t always have a choice, not in a meaningful way. Sometimes there is a debt that must be paid, a comfort that she is obliged to provide, a safe passage that must be secured. Every one of us has lain down for a reason that was not love.

Maybe that’s what it means to be in love, to willingly be at the mercy of another person.

You can never really unlove somebody. Maybe it changes shape, but it’s there.