Ask Again, Yes
by Mary Beth Keane
Published: May 28, 2019 by Scribner
Dates Read: May 12, – May 19, 2019
Genre/Category: General Fiction (Adult)
Read For: ARC from NetGalley for Review
Book synopsis: When Francis Gleason and Brian Stanhope join the NYPD in 1973 neither one could have imagined where their lives would lead, but they end up working in the same precinct and yet again living next door to each other outside the city. Though they were never really close friends, living in the same neighborhood can’t help but allow for their lives to intertwine, but not in the most neighborly of ways. Francis’ wife Lena attempts to befriend Brian’s wife Anne upon their arrival, but Anne and Brian are very aloof, and after some odd interactions, a friendship between families never develops.
As time goes by, the couples have children, and despite the adult’s differences, Francis’ youngest daughter Kate and Brian’s only son Peter develop a strong bond growing up that cannot be broken. During their eighth grade year, a violent event forces the Stanhope family to move away and Kate and Brian lose contact, forbidden by their families to see each other. Both of them afraid and unsure of how to reconnect with each other, never really letting go of their forbidden friendship.
Crossing generations, Ask Again, Yes tells the story of how Kate and Brian find their way back to each other, how their bond is tested by the events that occurred during their childhood, and shaped both of their lives. It encompasses a lifetime of choices, makes us think about the decisions we’ve made, why we’ve made them, and if given the chance, would we make the same decision again?
My synopsis: These are always the best kind of books to read, at least they are my favorite. Ask Again, Yes peaks your curiosity immediately, and as you continue reading, it reaches out and grips you with this tragedy that tears families and neighbors apart. Without falling flat, Mary Beth Keane continues to tell the story of each individual involved, the repercussions of their actions, how they’ve dealt with, moved on, and interacted with each other, how they intertwined, grew together and apart. The personal struggle of each character plays a major role in the telling of this captivating story. The author writes with such ease and grace that you find yourself sad when the book ends, almost as if you are losing a part of your own family when you close the book.
Ask Again, Yes is tender, enchanting, heartbreaking and troubled all at the same time. I felt it deserved a solid 4 stars in review. This is contemporary fiction at its finest. It is well written and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I feel sure we will be hearing a lot about this novel in the months to come. Highly recommend this book.
Thank You so much to Scribner and NetGalley for the ARC of Ask Again, Yes for an unbiased and honest review.