Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Ask Again Yes

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 outside the city. What goes on 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 stunning events to come.

Ask Again, Yes by award-winning author Mary Beth Keane, is a beautifully moving exploration of the friendship and love that blossoms between Francis’s youngest daughter, Kate, and Brian’s son, Peter, who are born six months apart. In the spring of Kate and Peter’s eighth grade year a violent event divides the neighbors, the Stanhopes are forced to move away, and the children are forbidden to have any further contact.

But Kate and Peter find a way back to each other, and their relationship is tested by the echoes from their past. Ask Again, Yes reveals how the events of childhood look different when reexamined from the distance of adulthood—villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.

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I wished I had picked this for my book club. Not because I loved it, it’s because there is so much to talk about. How you feel about the violent event? How do you feel about Kate and Peter? Their relationships with their families? What would do you in this situation? You could talk for hours and hours!

I really enjoyed the first half of the novel. I wanted to know more about the Gleesons and the Stanhopes.  I like how the author provided some of the narration from the children (Kate and Peter) and how you got to see their views on what was happening between their families.

The second half of the novel didn’t impress me as much as the first. I found that it was a lot of filler, which I know was to build the characters and their relationships. But I just found it to be boring. I wanted drama.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. Check this one out, especially if you are looking for your next book club read!


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