Ask Again, Yes
by Mary Beth Keane


Overview - INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

**The Tonight Show Summer Reads Pick**

"One of the most unpretentiously profound books I've read in a long time...modestly magnificent." --Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

"A beautiful novel, bursting at the seams with empathy." --Elle

How much can a family forgive?

A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship 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, 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 Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope, born six months apart. One shocking night their loyalties are divided, and their bond will be tested again and again over the next 40 years. 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 haunted by echoes from the past, is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.

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More About Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
 
 
 
Overview
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

**The Tonight Show Summer Reads Pick**

"One of the most unpretentiously profound books I've read in a long time...modestly magnificent." --Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

"A beautiful novel, bursting at the seams with empathy." --Elle

How much can a family forgive?

A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship 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, 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 Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope, born six months apart. One shocking night their loyalties are divided, and their bond will be tested again and again over the next 40 years. 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 haunted by echoes from the past, is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781982106980
  • ISBN-10: 1982106980
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Publish Date: May 2019
  • Page Count: 400
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.25 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Family Life - General
Books > Fiction > Coming of Age

 
BookPage Reviews

Ask Again, Yes

Mary Beth Keane’s well-wrought, emotionally affecting third novel, Ask Again, Yes, chronicles the lives of two neighboring working-class families over the course of four decades.

In the early 1970s, Francis Gleason, an immigrant from Ireland, and Brian Stanhope attend the New York City police academy together and are paired in field training. Francis quickly marries Anne, a nurse and Irish immigrant. Brian marries Lena, the daughter of Polish and Italian immigrants. Though their career trajectories are different, within a year or two, Francis and Brian end up as neighbors in a suburban town about 20 miles north of New York.

The families are not close. In fact, Anne is unstable and aggressively antisocial. But Brian and Anne’s only son, Peter, and Francis and Lena’s youngest daughter, Kate, develop an extraordinary bond. When Peter and Kate are in eighth grade, Anne commits an act of violence that rips both families apart.

All of this happens within the first quarter of Ask Again, Yes. The rest of the beautifully observed story is about the course of Peter’s and Kate’s lives—and through them, their families’—as they find and lose and find each other again. Not surprisingly, it is a fraught journey, shadowed by the dark bruises of their histories. Time, it seems, does not heal all wounds. But it does heal some. To say much more would betray a narrative that holds many surprises, large and small.

Keane sets her story among seemingly regular people in a normal-seeming American suburb. But Ask Again, Yes is a tale that will compel readers to think deeply about the ravages of unacknowledged mental illness, questions of family love and loyalty and the arduous journey toward healing and forgiveness.

 

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Mary Beth Keane for Ask Again, Yes.

 
BAM Customer Reviews