An American Marriage


Tayari Jones

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An American Marriage: Part 2, Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

On Thanksgiving, Gloria asked Celestial if her decision to be with Andre is based on love or convenience. Celestial views the situation as anything but convenient. Andre rehearses what he’ll say to Roy and Celestial looks at Old Hickey out front, thinking about how it’s been there longer than anything else in the neighborhood. Andre gets ready to go and Celestial hugs him. She shakes with nerves and reiterates to him that their love is real. Andre tells her love should be convenient, too. She asks Andre if he thinks Roy will come back with him and Dre isn’t sure.
Celestial seems to need to reassure herself that her relationship with Andre is based on love. Old Hickey serves as a touchstone for their relationship, and in looking at the tree she is reminded of their deep, abiding connection. This helps Celestial understand that her love for Andre is not just about convenience.
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Celestial thinks back to Gloria telling her that she’s like her father, impulsive and little bit selfish, but that not enough women have these qualities. Andre empathizes with Roy’s position, knowing he won’t be able to walk back into his professional life and that he’ll probably hope he at least has his wife to rely on. Andre sees it as his job to take that fantasy away from Roy. Both he and Celestial feel guilty, however: Andre for taking Celestial from Roy, and Celestial because she’s always had an easy life. Dre tells her that she deserves all she has, and that there are no accidents. They kiss and Dre leaves for Louisiana.
While Celestial’s strength and dedication to her goals might be unusual, her mother cherishes these qualities in her daughter. Andre and Celestial reassure one another that they are doing the right thing and shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for following their true feelings.
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