Ask Again, Yes

Ask Again, Yes

4.15 (2,066 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'Powerful and moving . . . Mary Beth Keane is a writer of extraordinary depth, feeling and wit. Readers will love this book, as I did' Meg Wolitzer, bestselling author of The Female Persuasion
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A gripping and compassionate family drama set between neighbours in suburban New York

Gillam, upstate New York: a town of ordinary, big-lawned suburban houses. The Gleesons have recently moved there and soon welcome the Stanhopes as their new neighbours. Lonely Lena Gleeson wants a friend but Anne Stanhope - cold, elegant, unstable - wants to be left alone.

It's left to their children - Lena's youngest, Kate, and Anne's only child, Peter - to find their way to one another. To form a friendship whose resilience and love will be almost broken by the fault line dividing both families, and by the terrible tragedy that will engulf them all. A tragedy whose true origins only become clear many years later . . .

A story of love and redemption, faith and forgiveness, 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. A story of how, if we're lucky, the violence lurking beneath everyday life can be vanquished by the power of love.
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'Keane takes on one of the most difficult problems in fiction - how to write about human decency . . . a compelling case for compassion over blame, understanding over grudge, and the resilience of hearts that can accept the contradictions of love' Louise Erdrich, National Book Award winning author of The Round House

'Leaves one shaking one's head in frank admiration. A triumph' Matthew Thomas, bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 29mm | 481g
  • Michael Joseph Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241410916
  • 9780241410912
  • 92,829

Review quote

An Updikean epic of intertwined families destabilized by grief and estrangement following a mother's breakdown, then redeemed by their enduring compassion for one another * Best Books by Women Summer 2019, OPRAH Magazine * One of the most unpretentiously profound books I've read in a long time . . . As a writer, Keane reminds me a lot of Ann Pratchett; Both have the magical ability to seem to be telling "only" a closely-observed domestic tale that transforms into something else deep and, yes, universal. In Keane's case, that "something else" is a story about forgiveness and acceptance - qualities that sound gooey, but are so hard to achieve in life . . . Modestly magnificent * Maureen Corrigan, NPR Fresh Aire * A gut-wrenching tale centered around the families of two rookie, next-door neighbor NYPD cops and a tragedy that reverberates over four decades. The book revolves around the bond between their children, the daily intimacies of marriage and the power of forgiveness * Good Morning America Summer Reads * An immersive read about family secrets and redemption -- Alice O'Keefe * Editor's Choice, Bookseller * Displaying impressive reach . . . Keane delivers an epic of domestic emotional turmoil . . . Tender and patient, the novel avoids excessive sweetness while planting itself deep in the soil of commitment and attachment. Graceful and mature. A solidly satisfying, immersive read * Kirkus, starred review * A rare example of propulsive storytelling infused with profound insights about blame, forgiveness and abiding love * People * A beautiful novel, bursting at the seams with empathy * Elle * A shocking tragedy turns what had been a portrait of domestic tension into a profound story of trauma and blame. Keane's gracefully restrained prose gives her characters dignity * Vogue * Keane takes on one of the most difficult problems in fiction - how to write about human decency . . . a compelling case for compassion over blame, understanding over grudge, and the resilience of hearts that can accept the contradictions of love * Louise Erdrich, National book award winning author of The Round House * Leaves one shaking one's head in frank admiration. A triumph * Matthew Thomas, bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves * I absolutely adored Ask Again, Yes. I was only a few chapters in when I knew Mary Beth Keane was about to become one of my favourite authors. I'll read everything she writes * Liane Moriarty * Stunning! An absolutely brilliant, gorgeously-written novel by a fearless writer. Ask Again, Yes is both haunting and hopeful, like life itself. It's the consummate epic family story, one I can't stop thinking and talking about. A must-read for our time * Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women * Powerful and moving . . . Mary Beth Keane is a writer of extraordinary depth, feeling and wit. Readers will love this book, as I did * Meg Wolitzer, bestselling author of The Female Persuasion *
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About Mary Beth Keane

Mary Beth Keane attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA. In 2011, she was named one of the National Book Foundation's '5 Under 35,' and in 2015 she was awarded a John S. Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing. She currently lives in Pearl River, New York, with her husband and their two sons. She is the author of The Walking People, Fever, and Ask Again, Yes.
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Rating details

2,066 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 39% (808)
4 43% (890)
3 14% (284)
2 3% (52)
1 2% (32)
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