“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” ANNA KARENINA, Tolstoy
ASK AGAIN, YES (Scribner) by Mary Beth Keene is a profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town. It focuses on the friendship between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, and the power of forgiveness.
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 is an 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.
ASK AGAIN, YES is one of those novels that you’ll find yourself falling into when reading. You won’t want to read too fast, less you miss a beautifully written sentence or part of the plot. I found myself reading ASK AGAIN, YES extremely slowly, hoping it would never end.
Mary Beth Keane attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA. She has been named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35,” and was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing. She currently lives in Pearl River, New York with her husband and their two sons. She is also the author of The Walking People and Fever.
Thanks to Scribner we have one SIGNED copy to giveaway. Just tell us the best family drama you’ve ever read. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.
GIVEAWAY: USA only please.