Ask Again, Yes

Ask Again, Yes

A Novel

Book - 2019
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"A family saga about two Irish American families in a New York suburb, the love between two of their children, and the tragedies that threaten to tear them apart and destroy their futures"--
Publisher: New York, NY : Scribner, ©2019.
ISBN: 9781982129873
Characteristics: 390 pages ;,23 cm.

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e
EljayJohnson
Sep 17, 2019

Literary fiction done right. It's the story of two families - the Gleesons and Stanhopes - across 30+ years. Along with almost perfect character studies, Keane does more: brings up themes that you don't even notice until you step away from the book. It's not an easy thing to write about "simple" things like empathy and compassion and love and commitment and forgiveness and - especially - human decency. But Keane does it compellingly and beautifully.

r
Russ_A
Sep 15, 2019

The lives of two neighboring families intertwine in many ways in this well-written story. Two NYPD cops, partners for a brief time as rookies, end up living in the same small town upstate. One has a son the same age as the youngest daughter of the other. Relationships are close … until they’re not. This genre is not in my normal wheelhouse, but I enjoyed it very much. It’s a love story of sorts. Not a romance, but a love story. There’s no bodice-ripping, no lustful bedroom – or kitchen table – scenes.

The time frame covers 1973 to the current day. You could call it a family saga – or perhaps better, a two-family saga. Some of it is heart-warming, other parts heart-rending. It doesn’t always go where you want it to, but it ends up where it should. My wife doesn’t recommend very many books to me as our tastes are different, but I say to you men, listen to your wife if she recommends this one.

mko123 Sep 11, 2019

Good message but it seemed to take a long time to get there.

b
bronteside
Aug 18, 2019

This novel has the rhythm of a mystery with
A kind of tragic boy -loves -girl Montague/Capulet theme.
The story pivots from one woman’s psychotic break to a son
tossed between his genetic inheritance and bad luck.
Things aren’t right in Gillam and it takes decades for the characters
to find themselves and finally, others acceptance.

k
KatG1983
Aug 14, 2019

Ask Again, Yes spans decades and follows the stories of the members of 2 connected families. Told from the perspective of several different characters, the book allows you to experience the drama, love, tragedy and redemption in vivid detail. I wasn't blown away by the novel, but it is solid story telling and very decent writing.

j
julierhoads
Aug 08, 2019

Did not read

l
LauraSteinert
Aug 02, 2019

I might have liked this more if I had not just finished Education: A Memoir. Both books focus on mental illness and child abuse--how the parents pass on the genetics of instability or create mental illness in their children through their family dynamics. Both have a scene with an injured bird. Both tell how easily children are taught to hide the truth from outsiders. Both highlight the danger of working with metal and in construction. It's a good story, but it feels like a plagiarism of the "facts" in Education.
(Why, why, why did she name her character Stanhope. For the first 100 pages I kept expecting Vera Stanhope to appear.)

m
mrose97
Jul 31, 2019

Book bud recommendation

JCLKariE Jul 25, 2019

The Gleesons and Stanhopes have a long history. Their children Kate Gleeson Peter Stanhope are inseparable friends throughout childhood until the fateful night their lives change forever. Equal parts family drama, coming of age tale and love story. Ask Again, Yes is the well-written, deep character study you have been waiting for this summer. Perfect for fans of Anne Tyler, Alice McDermott and Celeste Ng.

t
Tjad2L
Jun 16, 2019

A powerful family saga that tackles so many difficult topics with such understanding and grace, I don't know how Mary Beth does it. We follow two families from career to marriage to children to complete breakdown. All characters share in telling the story. I enjoyed hearing everyone's perspective and that this story was told linear. This story is character driven and very realistic.

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