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Ask Again, Yes

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  71,152 ratings  ·  7,644 reviews
How much can a family forgive?

A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the bond 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, two rookie cops in the NYPD, live next door to each other outside the city. What happens
Hardcover, 390 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by Scribner
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Bob Nope, it made perfect sense to me, even though the timeline might have jumped a bit between narratives.…moreNope, it made perfect sense to me, even though the timeline might have jumped a bit between narratives. (less)
Leighellen Landskov
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  71,152 ratings  ·  7,644 reviews

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Emily May
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, modern-lit, 2019
The thing is, Peter, grown-ups dont know what theyre doing any better than kids do. Thats the truth.

Oh, I love a good family drama.

Ask Again, Yes is a book about the members of two families-- the Gleesons and the Stanhopes. They are first brought together through the New York City police academy when young rookies Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope work together. Later, they become neighbours and start families next to one another. Except any chance of cordiality between them is destroyed on
Chaima ✨ شيماء
Lying in my bed at night, after finishing this book, I found myself unwilling audience to a seethe of clashing thoughts about the story, like watching a flickering home movie projected into a makeshift screen. My mind refused to release me to oblivion, and, although the ending does bring to one's mind the setting of ones soul at ease and the wheeling of stars into alignment, I turned the last page feeling heavier with what I knew. I still do.

So, whats this book about?

Brian Stanhope and Francis
Susanne  Strong
5 Stars.
Edited after much thought to revise rating from 4.25 Stars to 5 Stars. The ramifications of this novel and its ending have stayed with me!

Ask Again, Yes is Literary Fiction at its best!

This novel is an exploration of life, love, family, mistakes and the tragedies of everyday life. The Stanhopes and the Gleasons are at odds. Will they ever heal the rift that tore their families apart?

Alcoholism, friendship, forgiveness, mental illness, love and tragedy. These are the themes of Ask
Chelsea Humphrey
Book of the Month selection June 2019

"The thing is, Peter, grown-ups don't know what they're doing any better than kids do. That's the truth."

You've seen this book around before. You know the one I'm talking about; it's got an aesthetically pleasing blue-green cover, boasts of domestic drama and in-depth character study of the darker side of families, while promising the reader that they will experience a grand range of emotion by the time the final page is turned. These books are one thing,
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: maybe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angela M
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I have always enjoyed reading family stories that take me on their journey across time. This is a story of two families over several decades and how their lives intersect in a tragic way as well as one that is filled of love and ultimately forgiveness. Two NYC police officers, living next door to each other in the suburbs, connected mainly by the friendship of their two young children. Abruptly the things going on in one of the families impact the other in a way that changes everyones
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The cover of this book is remarkable and behind the cover is a remarkable book. At first glance, the cover appears to be an example of a painting technique known as impasto (I think). Closer scrutiny reveals a typical suburban neighborhood that could be Anywhere, USA. And so it is with this novel. At first glance, Ask Again, Yes seems to be an American dream or coming of age novel and in some ways it is but beneath these obvious themes lie much more. A violent act leaves two families forever ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

This is one of those books that, as I pondered writing this review, I have changed my rating from a 4 to a 5. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how incredibly strong the characters in this book are, I finished it last week and Im still thinking about them., all of them. If you love strong character driven books, you will love this one! I had a bit of believability issues with one of the main characters but it doesnt take away from the entire body of work.

oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for BEST FICTION 2019! what will happen?

heads up to whom it may concern: this book is primo book club bait. in general, the best book club choices are ones with juicy conflicts at their centers which inspire strong, differing, politely expressed opinions from your assembled booknerds. and the best of these have an extra componentthey allow the reader a sort of peripheral empathy; taking recognizable, relatable issues like illness, marital/job stress,
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
contemporary fiction. i keep forgetting how much i love this genre. i always find myself amazed each time i pick up a book that perfectly showcases how ordinary people can be extraordinary. this story doesnt rely on gimmicks. theres no shying away from difficult topics. its just me, falling in love with simple characters doing the best they can.
there was no predicting where life would go. there was no real way for a person to try something out, to see if he liked it, because you try it and try
j e w e l s
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Well. No reason to read any more books this year. This is it. My favorite of 2019.

While I tend to devour the psychological suspense novels, I also love a good and messy family drama novel. Ask Again, Yes is a character driven family saga covering almost three generations from Ireland to contemporary New York state.

The story revolves around two couples living as neighbors, but not really as friends. There is something a little cold about one of the wives and even though
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
My last five star book of the year.

Id seen so many positive reviews about this book, I had to find time to listen to it. This is an extraordinarily poignant book. It grabbed me from the beginning and never let me go.

Two families reside side by side. The children are friends, but the parents have issues. Peters mom is mentally unbalanced. His father, a cop, tries to ignore her problems. Kates dad is also a cop, in fact, at one time theyd been rookie partners.

Keane totally gets what its like to
Elyse  Walters
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unresolved childhood experiences of loss and trauma are repeated in the next generation...
is a theme thats explored brilliantly.

With many disturbing themes: abuse, abandonment, mental illness, alcoholism, infidelity, with a tragic defining moment.....the author takes readers on a 40 year journey - (three family generations) - with characters that are genuine and broken.
The emotional reactions of family members is projected on to others - shifting responsibility.

We also see how disease follows
BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
Mary Beth Keane's novel, Ask Again, Yes is ultimately about family, love, mistakes, forgiveness and being able to move forward in life, to move past tragedy and embrace our lives - both the good and bad moments.

This is definitely not my typical type of read but I'm so glad I gave it a try. The Gleesons and the Stanhopes fully captured me. I easily found myself invested in these people as I followed their family histories through time.

Brian Stanhope and Francis Gleeson are rookie cops who meet
Brenda -Traveling Sister
One of the best books I have read for a Group read pick!

Ask, Again, Yes is a moving, quiet beautifully written family drama that explores love, forgiveness, friendship, tragedy and trauma that takes place over four decades. We see neighbors whose lives are intertwined when tragedy strikes and a violent act tears them apart.

Mary Beth Keane writes with compassion and I could feel the tenderness, generosity and grace she has given her characters. I was completely drawn into the lives of Peter and
5 enthusiastic stars!

Life is top heavy, that what happens early matters the most in shaping you. The author writes beautifully and she showed us this truth in these characters in a way that was profound and deeply moving. We all start our lives full of promise and hope, never knowing the heartache and trials that await us. Such is life. And most of us would do it all over again.

This is a difficult book to summarize without spoilers so Im keeping this review short on plot. The Stanhopes and
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, buddy-read
A beautifully crafted family drama that explores love, forgiveness and the ability to move on.
Do you have the strength to move past a tragedy? Come out the other side stronger? Or will the crushing weight of it all define you, re-shaping your life?

Francis and Lena Gleeson are raising their 3 daughters in a quiet neighborhood. Frances is a police officer well respected by all. A rising star in his department, he has truly found his calling.

Brian Stanhope lives next door with his wife Anne and
* I've added a link to an article called A conversation with Mary Beth Keane, best-selling author of "Ask Again, Yes" to the bottom of this review.*

I didn't want to put this book down from the moment I started it...too bad I needed sleep and had other things I needed to do. Still I read it within a few short days and it hurt my heart but also, filled me with hope. Mary Beth Keane did a great job of putting her words down on paper.

Kate and Peter, born to neighbors, 6 months apart, had a
Holly  B
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I listened via Audible. Would have enjoyed a more expressive narrator.

I liked it, didn't love it as so many of my friends and others have. Read their reviews!

I do enjoy family dramas with authentic characters, but I really only connected with Kate. I wanted to care more about the others, would have appreciated stronger personalities and feel more anticipation than I did for the majority of the book.

It was slow paced for me and somewhat mundane - yes bored, lets move on....

What I did love was the
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-favourites
5 stars!

A powerful, thought-provoking journey through the lives of two families forever changed by tragedy.

Everything about this book got to me! The exquisite writing, the relatable characters, the life changing decisions. Once I started, this novel consumed my thoughts whether I was reading it or not. I wanted to get to the end to see how everything would turn out, yet I dreaded flipping that last page and having to say goodbye to these remarkable people. These characters tugged at my heart and
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christine by: Michelle review
This one was really hard to rate until I thought things through as I wrote my review. There are some very strong positives about this book, but the disappointments arewell, really disappointing.

First, the positives. Ask Again,Yes is extremely well written. This author can really tell a tale in a most accomplished manner. The story involves the relationships between two families and amongst the individual members of both from the early 1970s to the present. The depth and complexity of the
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my... this book...these characters.
I loved this story. The story starts out in the 1970s, with two young New York police officers (partners, for awhile) who end up living next door to each other in a suburban neighborhood.
As their familys are growing, a tragedy occurs that changes all their lives, and keeps them entwined forever.
Mental illness, alcoholism, estrangements, and most of all love and forgiveness are at the center of this novel that takes the reader with them to present day.
Diane S ☔
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019
For a short time they were partners, Francis and Brian, two cops from the same precinct. Then they moved their families to the same neighborhood, across the street from each other. Brian's only son and Francis's youngest daughter grow up best friends. Then something terrible happens that will divide these two family's for decades.

Domestic fiction can be tricky to write, to find the right tone. This novel got it pretty neat to right. Although many dramatic occurrences happen, the tone is not
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-releases

My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

3.5 Stars!!

Ask Again, Yes is a story is about two families, The Stanhopes and the Gleasons. Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope met when they were both rookies for the NYPD in the early 1970s. When Francis Gleeson and his family moved to a home in the suburbs, it wasnt long before Brian Stanhope and his wife, Anne moved in next door. Franciss wife Lena made attempts to get close to Anne, but Anne was standoffish and didnt
Larry H
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

The repercussions of a decision or an action can have ripple effects for years to come. No better is this demonstrated than in Mary Beth Keane's new novel, Ask Again, Yes . This story of how much we owe those we love and how much we should endure for the sake of family is tremendously thought-provoking and emotional.

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are both rookie policemen for the NYPD in the 1970s. They build a friendship of sorts based on their mutual Irish heritage, although it
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
I can't express how much I loved this book! It was a book that drew me in from the very first page. There has been quite a bit of hype surrounding this book and it fully deserves it. The story itself is just fascinating and unique. I have never read this author before and I absolutely loved her writing style. It flows so effortlessly that you really don't want it to come to an end.

I love how the story started in 1973 with the two rookie police officers Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope meeting.
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Please be advised I am 100% a wrongreader of this one. However, as long as things like Book of the Month Club and Instagram and endless zero-cost-to-me reads from my library exist, I will continue reading everything available to me (generally without even looking at a blurb or a review first, as was the case here) for the rest of eternity.

Simply put, Ask Again, Yes is a family drama or what I like to call . . . .

The story here
by the time i woke up this morning, my reading buddy had already started and finished this book. i spent like 2 seconds feeling indignant, but then i was too busy starting and finishing it too.

lily: you are forgiven.

review to come / 4 stars


ready for this book to ruin me

buddy reading with the love of my life
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you could travel back in time would you? Would you do the same things you have done, marry the same partner, have the children you had, lived in places you have lived in...or would you have made different choices, made different decisions, gone along a different path then the one you now find yourself on? Jan and I read this story and though both of us came away with different feelings, we both agreed that life offers us many choices and also has thrown many curves at us at record breaking ...more
Ask Again, Yes is the kind of novel that grows on you slowly but you end up loving it. It's not the love at first sight, struck by lightning kind of love, but the kind that builds without you noticing it, sort of like falling in love with someone you've known well for many years.

The stories are known to us - the newer Irish immigrant and second-generation Irish in America; getting married, having kids, working as policemen. Life ticks along. It also throws some major curve-balls.

The novel deals
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Mary Beth Keane's first novel, The Walking People (2009) was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and her second novel, Fever (2013) was named a best book of 2013 by NPR Books, Library Journal, and The San Francisco Chronicle. In 2011 she was named to the National Book Foundation's "5 under 35." She was a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow in Fiction and her new novel, Ask Again, Yes, is forthcoming in ...more

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“The thing is, Peter, grown-ups don't know what they're doing any better than kids do. That's the truth.” 31 likes
“They'd both learned that a memory is a fact that has been dyed and trimmed and rinsed so many times that it comes out looking almost unrecognizable to anyone else who was in that room or anyone who was standing on the grass beneath that telephone pole.” 29 likes
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