I can see why Oprah would make An American Marriage a 2018 selection for her book club. It’s a mildly entertaining story in easily digested prose, an under-represented viewpoint on two generations of two Afro-American families coping with major institutions within the boundaries imposed externally by society and internally by their own psyches. You could put this one in your summer reading bag and enjoy it whatever your cultural heritage. But I’m not sure what a reader is supposed to make of this fiasco. Is it a caution against selling out? Is it a parable on the perils of overweening pride? Should we see in it the disastrous result of imperfect self-knowledge? Ultimately, I didn’t care about the characters much. Big Roy held my interest most, but even he was more of a caricature of the solid, salt-of-the-earth father figure.