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Jun 30, 2020AndreaG_KCMO rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
"Love is not love/ Which alters when it alteration finds...O no! it is an ever-fixed mark/ That looks on tempests and is never shaken..." In my former life as a teacher, Sonnet 116 was my exemplar of figurative language and emotional intensity. The poem is beautiful to read aloud, its aspirations daunting, even unattainable. Tayari Jones's love story [and social commentary] is tragic because the characters pursue Shakespeare's lofty ideals but are relegated to reality. After Roy is wrongly imprisoned, Celestial's letters convey her ongoing love and loyalty to him. As years pass, she must quietly grapple with her fading feelings, the shame of accepting the relationship's end, and the complications caused by Roy's early release. Each character's perspective is relatable, authentic, and causes the reader to question whether love can and should always be born out "even to the edge of doom."