Title: Ask Again, Yes
Author: Mary Beth Keane
Genre: General Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 4.04
My Rating: 4*
A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the bond between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, the daily intimacies of marriage, and the power of forgiveness.
Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, two rookie cops in the NYPD, live next door to each other outside the city. What happens behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne—sets the stage for the explosive events to come.
Ask Again, Yes is a deeply affecting exploration of the lifelong friendship and love that blossoms between Francis and Lena’s daughter, Kate, and Brian and Anne’s son, Peter. Luminous, heartbreaking, and redemptive, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood—villains lose their menace and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story, while tested by echoes from the past, is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.
The Gleesons’ and the Stanhopes are dripping in family drama! Just when you think one hurdle has been jumped there lies another one some twenty metres away, they are almost our modern day Montagues and Capulets.
I presume that most readers, like me, were self diagnosing Anne from the start. From the beginning her demeanour was off but I did not expect things to go as far as they did. I remember when the events of that night happened I almost had to do a double read just to make sure that I had read it right. Whilst you want to dislike Anne for her actions I did find myself feeling sorry for her at some points and once her background was revealed you could see how she ended up where she did. If there is one thing that readers should take away from this book it’s that we should not bury our heads in the sand and hope that our problems go away. We should seek help or seek help on behalf of others to almost nip these issues before they manifest.
I have the greatest admiration for Kate. There were many times when she could of easily ran in the opposite direction and decided that her and her family had been through enough. But she didn’t. She is the glue that holds her family together and that is a tough position to maintain.
My biggest sympathy was to Peter. How can you not feel for this guy? He has two parents who have let him down and not supported him in the way that a parent should. He had to grow up so quickly and become a strong individual that can you blame him for some of the choices he made in life?
This story is filled to the brim with interesting characters, twisting story lines and plenty of family drama. There are moments that make you laugh and some that make you want to cry but by the end of the story you realise that all families have troubles etc but dealing with them as a family is what makes you stronger.
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