“We repeat what we don’t repair.”
– Mary Beth Keane; Ask Again, Yes.
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.
I really enjoyed this book, it was enticing and I could not put it down. That is after I got through the first couple chapters. It was slow at first, very slow actually. I almost put it down and stopped reading it altogether.
But, once the accident happened, it picked up and quick! It’s told in third person, which works very well for the book considering it does show things through multiple characters perspectives.
My only struggle with it being multiple perspectives is that it didn’t say who’s perspective it was. It felt like a guessing game to figure out who’s perspective I was reading. However, the author did make it pretty obvious, and tried to keep it contained in chapters. Occasionally it did switch perspectives in the middle of a chapter but that only occurred a few times.
I really like Francis through most of the book. He was brave, strong, compassionate, and loyal- or so I thought. That was until I got to chapter 13, and I’ll just leave it at that.
Overall, once you get through the first couple of chapters it’s a great book that shows life over generations, shows the effects of trauma, devastation, love, compassion, mental illness, betrayal, abandonment, loss, and substance abuse.