Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Review: Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

How much can a family forgive?

 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.

Paperback, 390 pages
 Published May 28th, 2019
by Scribner

This book was brought to my attention while watching Jimmy Fallon as he did his thing to pick the Tonight Show summer read - honestly I think all 5 nominees are now on my tbr pile. Mary Beth Keane is not a new author for me, her book Fever (about Typhoid Mary) I read back in 2013 and rather enjoyed.

While it took a little for me to become invested in this story I found myself absorbed more so as I got to know the Gleeson and Stanhope families. There are many layers that deal with mental illness, relationships, guilt, forgiveness and more. This book spans 4 decades, at times it speeds through time at a fast pace other times a little slow.

I loved the synopsis, it doesn’t give any details of the story away. Yes, we know something explosive is going to happen and we get to witness the aftermath, how it affects these 2 families. I love that it was up to the reader to discover what happens with no clue.

Definitely a book and author I recommend.

My copy from my TBR pile - via my SweetReadsBox (August).

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