Book Review: Ask Again, Yes

Because life changes and people change. As long as we change together, we’re okay.

“Because life changes and people change. As long as we change together, we’re okay.”

Life isn’t all sunshine and happiness. It’s how we react to life that makes it what it is. ASK AGAIN, YES, a new release by author Mary Beth Keane, has been compared to other popular books like COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett and LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng for good reason. Through a chance encounter at the NYPD academy two families, the Gleesons and the Stanhopes, are brought together and forever linked in ways that they could never have imagined. This character-driven novel allows the reader an intimate look at two families struggling through issues like mental illness, friendship, alcoholism, love, and infidelity. The tragedies are real, the pain imaginable and true for some readers.

A multi-generational saga, ASK AGAIN, YES is the kind of story that sticks to your bones. Never did I feel that I was reading something outrageous or unbelievable. Instead, I felt like a fly on the wall, watching anxiously as the mental, emotional, and physical injuries happened before me, feeling relief as I witnessed the characters working hard towards repairing and healing their lives and relationships. There are many scenes that are difficult to read; the raw reality and the genuine pain caused my palms to sweat while I turned each page.

You’ll be drawn to this book for the cover but it’s what’s inside that will make you stop everything you’re doing until you’re done reading. The only reason for 4 stars instead of the full 5 was because there were times that I wanted more dialogue. I wanted to hear more of the character’s voices. But so much of what happens takes place inside of the characters–their thoughts and emotions, that the author’s lack of dialogue was necessary.

This will be a book that you will hear lots of readers talking about this summer. I think it would make a great book for any book club.

Thank you to Net Galley and Scribner for the advanced copy of ASK AGAIN, YES in return for my honest review.


ASK AGAIN, YES by Mary Beth Keane
Published by Scribner, May 28, 2019
Genre: Literary Fiction
Where I read: On a Friday night eating frozen pizza
Stephenie’s Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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