Ask Again, Yes

Ask Again, Yes

A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, and the power of forgiveness.Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are two NYPD rookies assigned to the same Bronx precinct in 1973. They aren’t close friends on the job, but end up living next door to each other ou...

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Title:Ask Again, Yes
Author:Mary Beth Keane
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Ask Again, Yes Reviews

  • Tammy

    The cover of this book is remarkable and behind the cover is a remarkable book. At first glance, the cover appears to be an example of a painting technique known as impasto (I think). Closer scrutiny reveals a typical suburban neighborhood that could be Anywhere, USA. And so it is with this novel. At first glance, Ask Again, Yes seems to be an American dream or coming of age novel and in some ways it is but beneath these obvious themes lie much more. A violent act leaves two families forever cha

    The cover of this book is remarkable and behind the cover is a remarkable book. At first glance, the cover appears to be an example of a painting technique known as impasto (I think). Closer scrutiny reveals a typical suburban neighborhood that could be Anywhere, USA. And so it is with this novel. At first glance, Ask Again, Yes seems to be an American dream or coming of age novel and in some ways it is but beneath these obvious themes lie much more. A violent act leaves two families forever changed and another event leaves them forever linked. You will live the decades of these characters’ lives right along with them. Mental illness, stoicism, alcoholism, achievement, love and forgiveness mark this marvelous novel and the author treats her characters with great tenderness. You won’t forget them.

  • Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    This is one of those books that, as I pondered writing this review, I have changed my rating from a 4 to a 5. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how incredibly strong the characters in this book are, I finished it last week and I’m still thinking about them., all of them. If you love strong character driven books, you will love this one! I had a bit of believability issues with one of the main characters but it doesn’t take away from the entire body of work.

    From

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    This is one of those books that, as I pondered writing this review, I have changed my rating from a 4 to a 5. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how incredibly strong the characters in this book are, I finished it last week and I’m still thinking about them., all of them. If you love strong character driven books, you will love this one! I had a bit of believability issues with one of the main characters but it doesn’t take away from the entire body of work.

    From the blurb you know that this novel is about two neighboring families, both husbands are policemen who started out as rookies on the NYPD force. The book is told from several points of view which I think greatly improved my understanding of how the individuals felt and acted.

    Francis Gleeson has had a great career, he is strong willed, intelligent, diligent and yet with his family he has an incredible soft touch. He is the first to move to this new suburb, he, his wife and two daughters are doing well individually and as a family, although Lena is at times lonely and would like a larger life outside the home.

    Within months Brian and Anne move in next door to the Gleeson’s. Brian and Francis are not close friends at this point, but they are friendly. Anne is quite a different matter, she does not go out of her way to befriend the Gleesons and keeps to her house much of the time. Later, both Anne and Lena have children only six months apart, Peter and Kate, who are immediately bonded to each other even as little friends. Their story will play a huge part in the novel.

    A terrible incident occurs which changes the lives of everyone in both families, it is tragic, horrific and probably could have been avoided. The Stanhopes are forced to move away. I would not spoil this novel for anyone by giving away anything more.

    This is a book that I couldn’t wait to get back to and finished in two days. This story hits all the emotional buttons, happiness, extreme sadness, frustration, hope, love and forgiveness. We are taken through the lives of these families who handle the tragedy in very different ways. The plot flows very well and is extremely well thought out. We really get to know these people, this is the first book this year that has touched me in this way.

    Buy the book, read it, ponder what you would do in this situation and you won’t be disappointed.

    As an afterthought, I did read The Walking People, by this author many years ago and it was excellent, so if you enjoy this one, go back and read the other.

    I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.

  • marilyn

    I didn't want to put this book down from the moment I started it...too bad I needed sleep and had other things I needed to do. Still I read it within a few short days and it hurt my heart but also, filled me with hope. Mary Beth Keane did a great job of putting her words down on paper.

    Kate and Peter, born to neighbors, 6 months apart, had a connection from the beginning of their time. They were best friends but more than best friends, they knew each other and loved each other before they were e

    I didn't want to put this book down from the moment I started it...too bad I needed sleep and had other things I needed to do. Still I read it within a few short days and it hurt my heart but also, filled me with hope. Mary Beth Keane did a great job of putting her words down on paper.

    Kate and Peter, born to neighbors, 6 months apart, had a connection from the beginning of their time. They were best friends but more than best friends, they knew each other and loved each other before they were even aware of that fact. Kate had a blessed life and a loving family but Peter had a harsh, troubled life, both a troubled dad and a troubled mom. Peter carried the weight of the world on his young shoulders, weight that a child should not have to carry.

    When Kate is 13, Peter 14, something happens that shatters their lives and the lives of their families. Peter and his family have to leave immediately and Kate is left with a hole in her heart, Peter too is left with a hole, holes that only the other can fill. Eventually Kate and Peter make contact again and all of the past is still with them and their families, past that is part of their present too. I won't say more about the book except that it was so heart-wrenching, so real, but also so full of family and love, that I finished the book wanting to continue being a part of Kate and Peter's lives.

    Thank you to Scribner and NetGalley for this ARC.

  • Angela M

    4.5 stars

    I have always enjoyed reading family stories that take me on their journey across time. This is a story of two families over several decades and how their lives intersect in a tragic way as well as one that is filled of love and ultimately forgiveness. Two NYC police officers, living next door to each other in the suburbs, connected mainly by the friendship of their two young children. Abruptly the things going on in one of the families impact the other in a way that changes everyone’s

    4.5 stars

    I have always enjoyed reading family stories that take me on their journey across time. This is a story of two families over several decades and how their lives intersect in a tragic way as well as one that is filled of love and ultimately forgiveness. Two NYC police officers, living next door to each other in the suburbs, connected mainly by the friendship of their two young children. Abruptly the things going on in one of the families impact the other in a way that changes everyone’s life and the two young friends are separated. In less capable hands, this book could have been melodramatic, but it wasn’t. The author addressed some tough, realistic issues - mental illness, alcoholism, parental abandonment and the effects on these characters, who I was vested in throughout, felt for throughout. This could never be a happily ever after story because the things that happened to these characters are burdens that while can be lightened by that love, loyalty and forgiveness, they can never fully be erased. An ending that was satisfying and provided realistic closure. Highly recommended.

    This was a monthly buddy read with Diane and Esil.

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Scribner through Edelweiss and NetGalley.

  • karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!

    heads up to whom it may concern: this book is primo book club bait. in general, the best book club choices are ones with juicy conflicts at their centers which inspire strong, differing, politely expressed opinions from your assembled booknerds. and the best of

    have an extra component—they allow the reader a sort of peripheral empathy; taking recognizable, relatable issues like illness, marital/job stress, disputes with the neighbors, etc, and then dramatically inflating the

    NOW AVAILABLE!!

    heads up to whom it may concern: this book is primo book club bait. in general, the best book club choices are ones with juicy conflicts at their centers which inspire strong, differing, politely expressed opinions from your assembled booknerds. and the best of

    have an extra component—they allow the reader a sort of peripheral empathy; taking recognizable, relatable issues like illness, marital/job stress, disputes with the neighbors, etc, and then dramatically inflating them into situations one hopes never to have to live through, providing that “there but for the” shiver.

    the publisher's synopsis seems to want to keep its secrets, so i'll play along and summarize in the broadest terms: it’s about two families and one verybad night that changes the course of their lives for decades to come. and the specifics of

    dramatically inflated situation, and all of its ripple effects, are sure to inspire some wide-ranging booknerd opinions.

    it has all of the things that breed discussion—nuanced characters with complicated relationships given years to develop and adjust, and to confront life’s myriad challenges: infidelity, addiction, mental illness, abandonment, loneliness, regret—all of the meaty woes of life. but it’s also a first love story, with a bit of a romeo and juliet edge, although in this case, the capulet’s disapproval of their kid’s romantic choice is totally legit. awkward thanksgivings for sure.

    it’s an engrossing and insightful story of human relationships and growth and forgiveness, but it’s not schmaltzy and sentimental like so many books of its kind. i liked it. maybe your book club will like it.

    but don't take my word for it—there’s actually a literary litmus test for IS THIS A BOOK CLUB BOOK?

    IS THIS A BOOK CLUB BOOK?

    does it look like this?

    it does!

    does it look like this?

    it does!

    does it look like this?

    it does!

    I THINK IT IS A BOOK CLUB BOOK!!!

  • Susanne  Strong

    This novel is an exploration of life, love, family, mistakes and the tragedies of everyday life. The Stanhopes and the Gleasons are at odds. Will they ever heal the rift that tore their families apart?

    Alcoholism, friendship, forgiveness, mental illness, love and tragedy. These are the themes of “Ask Again, Yes.”

    This is one heck of an engrossing novel. I truly felt for the characters of Peter and Kate. The trials and tribulations of t

    This novel is an exploration of life, love, family, mistakes and the tragedies of everyday life. The Stanhopes and the Gleasons are at odds. Will they ever heal the rift that tore their families apart?

    Alcoholism, friendship, forgiveness, mental illness, love and tragedy. These are the themes of “Ask Again, Yes.”

    This is one heck of an engrossing novel. I truly felt for the characters of Peter and Kate. The trials and tribulations of two families - your heart will literally be pulled in two, feeling bad for each, at certain points in time, almost feeling as if you are betraying the other. Admittedly, parts of this novel totally shocked me. I felt as though I should have understood certain things from the get go and didn’t and when things came to light I was like “oh!” Then there is the ending… yes, tears sprung to my eyes, (some of you are like, yeah “big surprise, you old sap!”). Seriously though, I simply couldn’t help myself!

    This was a buddy read with Kaceey. I loved reading this one with you Kaceey and was so glad that you ended up liking this one too!

    Thank you to NetGalley, Scribner and Mary Beth Keane for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 4.7.19.

    Will be published on Amazon and Twitter on 5.28.19.

  • Kaceey

    A beautifully crafted family drama that explores love, forgiveness and the ability to move on.

    Do you have the strength to move past a tragedy? Come out the other side stronger? Or will the crushing weight of it all define you, re-shaping your life?

    Francis and Lena Gleeson are raising their 3 daughters in a quiet neighborhood. Frances is a police officer well respected by all. A rising star in his department, he has truly found his calling.

    Brian Stanhope lives next door with his wife Anne and th

    A beautifully crafted family drama that explores love, forgiveness and the ability to move on.

    Do you have the strength to move past a tragedy? Come out the other side stronger? Or will the crushing weight of it all define you, re-shaping your life?

    Francis and Lena Gleeson are raising their 3 daughters in a quiet neighborhood. Frances is a police officer well respected by all. A rising star in his department, he has truly found his calling.

    Brian Stanhope lives next door with his wife Anne and their son. Brian too is a police officer, and though he was once partnered with Francis, his career path has fallen well behind.

    When a tragedy rocks the lives of both families no one is left unscathed. Not the parents, not the children. All are left in the aftermath, trying to stitch their lives back together and move forward.

    This book left me at a loss for words. It touched me profoundly. Not to tears, but somewhere perhaps even deeper, causing me to look back at my own family...my life. How a singular event in your past can shape your life. Taking you down a road you may have otherwise never ventured.

    Even now...I find myself still reflecting upon this book.

    An emotional buddy read with Susanne!

    Thank you to NetGalley, Scribner and Mary Beth Keane for an ARC to read and review.

  • Emily May

    Oh, I love a good family drama.

    is a book about the members of two families-- the Gleesons and the Stanhopes. They are first brought together through the New York City police academy when young rookies Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope work together. Later, they become neighbours and start families next to one another. Except any chance of cordiality between them is destroye

    Oh, I love a good family drama.

    is a book about the members of two families-- the Gleesons and the Stanhopes. They are first brought together through the New York City police academy when young rookies Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope work together. Later, they become neighbours and start families next to one another. Except any chance of cordiality between them is destroyed on one fateful night.

    This is one of those intimate character portraits that explores the interactions between the characters in depth and with an unusual level of insight into human nature. There are some perfectly-crafted scenes where as the reader I felt like, yes, that is exactly how someone would behave in that situation. While the book is busy focusing on the characters, many issues emerge over the course of the novel, integrated so seamlessly that it wasn't until I looked back at the end that I fully appreciated what Keane had done.

    I don't want to make the book seem sentimental, because it is not at all. But it is very empathetic, and the author writes each character with love and sensitivity. Anne's mental illness causes ruptures in her marriage with Brian, amongst other things, while the Gleesons seem determined to honor commitment no matter what troubles befall them.

    I love the understanding that consequences can be far-reaching, both over time and to other people. The book follows the Gleeson daughter, Kate, and the Stanhope son, Peter, over many years, and yet they can never fully escape their beginnings.

    You probably know by now if this is a YOU book. It's one of those for readers who like to explore the nuances of human behaviour and relationships. An obvious choice if you loved Ng's

    .

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  • شيماء ✨

    I hate drama

    *is a deeply dysfunctional family drama*

    unless it involves fictional characters, I hate drama

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    You've seen this book around before. You know the one I'm talking about; it's got an aesthetically pleasing blue-green cover, boasts of domestic drama and in-depth character study of the darker side of families, while promising the reader that they will experience a grand range of emotion by the time the final page is turned. These books are one thing, pure and simple:

    . While I

    You've seen this book around before. You know the one I'm talking about; it's got an aesthetically pleasing blue-green cover, boasts of domestic drama and in-depth character study of the darker side of families, while promising the reader that they will experience a grand range of emotion by the time the final page is turned. These books are one thing, pure and simple:

    . While I always fall for the cover, the inside of such books rarely leaves a longterm impression on me, because it is truly difficult for a book that follows the same procedure and format as every other in its genre to attain a memorable status in my internal hard drive. Yes, this book did follow that formula, remaining fairly predictable, but for some reason these characters were quite enticing, and the author did leave an impression that kept me thinking about these characters well after finishing their story.

    I can't help but loosely compare this book to the likes of Liane Moriarty, because I had a similar reading experience while working through

    as I did when I picked up

    . Years ago, I joined an online bookclub with my sister and the first month we participated, we were discussing BLL. It was long, and I was intimidated, and the beginning portions were incredibly slow, so much so that I almost tossed the book and told Irina she was on her own. ;) I'm really glad she encouraged me to stick with it, because once I was fully invested in the characters, I began to breeze through and consider it one of the first books to help me embrace the lighter side of the mystery genre. AAY has a very similar setup-slow burning intro while we get acquainted with the characters, and then we steadily speed up once a few "things" begin to happen.

    There are many, many emotional aspects to this story, and for the most part it's very sad and mildly heavy, but the ending was done so well that it kept my final verdict as hopeful, while teaching me where to be grateful. The characters of both families suffer tremendously in various ways over the years, and some of the reasons are based on their choices, but most of the outcomes are results of unexpected circumstances, which gave a tense, straining sensation as the story unfolds. If you enjoy family sagas that feature coming-of-age in less than ideal circumstances, you may want to give this one a try for yourself. Some of the buzz-worthy topics included are mental health, addiction, cancer, and how tragedy affects all sorts of relationships, such as married couples and parents/children. Those are some tough issues to cover, but this book does so in very mild ways, with little to no graphic content, and mainly just in being referred to prior to an event or as a memory. The possible discussions that will spur from reading this book are endless, and I cannot wait to see how the general public reacts to

    once it's released.

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