Ask Again, Yes — Mary Beth Keane

Read Date: August 20, 2019
Rating: 4/5
Format: Print Book

A classic family drama, Ask Again, Yes is the story of the Gleesons and the Stanhopes, next-door neighbors whose patriarchs met at the Police Academy years prior and even did a brief stint as partners in the city before their respective relocation to suburbia.

The Stanhopes and Gleesons lead quintessential, white-picket-fence-2.5-kids-playing-in-the-street lives until an anxiety-raddled, unstable member of the family instigates a tragic, violent act that rends the families’ relationships from that point on. Does that stop the teenage, R&J-esque friendship/romance that’s been budding between Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope, however? Absolutely not.

The novel follows Brian, Anne, and Peter Stanhope and Francis, Lena, and Kate Gleeson through the years following the crime as Peter and Kate go to college, fall in love, raise families, and overcome familial trauma of the past. Ask Again, Yes tackles alcoholism, anxiety and mental health issues, love, trust, recovery, and a range of other deeply affecting emotional themes.

Keane’s writing is poignant and illustrative; the reader feels present in the room witnessing a character’s breakdown, or sharing the same feeling of betrayal or despair depicted on pages. The story goes to heavy and serious places, prompting questions of, “If you had it to do all over again…?”. Ask Again, Yes would appeal to fans of Celeste Ng and Ann Patchett, and provides *plenty* of food for discussion!

Get Ask Again, Yes here or at your local library. Happy reading!


One response to “Ask Again, Yes — Mary Beth Keane”

  1. […] Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane: The writing was poignant and the looming question of, “If you had it all to do over again….?” hanging in the balance were only two of many great elements to this book. This came in at 4 stars for me. […]


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