An American Marriage Characters

An American Marriage Character List


Roy, full name Roy Hamilton Jr. is married to Celestial Davenport. He is good with the ladies and has a talent for his job. His mother is named Olive and his father, who happens to be his adoptive father, is named Roy as well. He is falsely accused of raping a white woman and is therefore sentenced to 12 years prison.


Celestial, full name Celestial Davenport is married to Roy Hamilton. She carries a lot of emotional baggage with her, which has dictated her life a long time. In particular, she carries guilt from aborting a baby she was pregnant with while still a student, and then she terminates a second baby with Roy. Celestial wishes to be loved and taken care of, and to raise a child that is wanted and happy.


Andre is Celestial's life long friend, as well as Roy's close friend. He was the one that presented Roy to Celestial when they were just friends. Celestial and Andre never lose contact though, and a bond begins growing between them while Roy is in prison. Andre wishes the best for Celestial, and as he loves her he believes that he is it.

Big Roy

Big Roy is Roy's adoptive father. He raises Roy even though he is not his biological father and is a kind, patient man, who grows quiet and withdrawn after his wife dies. He loves his son and stands by him throughout his prison sentence and the end of his marriage.


Olive is Roy's mother. She and Celestial do not get along because Olive thinks that Celestial thinks she is better than their family, and there is tension between them since the two do not have children. She dies while Roy is in prison.

Davina Hardwick

Davina is a classmate from Roy's high school. After he gets out of prison, she invites him to her house, where she cooks dinner for him, takes care of him, and eventually sleeps with him. They marry after the end of the book.


Walter is Roy's cellmate. After spending some time in prison, Roy learns that he is actually his biological father. While their relationship is always strained, Walter looks out for Roy while he is in prison, and takes care of him while he deals with the trauma of being imprisoned.

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