Book Review

Ask Again, Yes


Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane via @BarbaraDelinsky #ask #bookreview #family

I did it again – bought a book, ASK AGAIN, YES, based purely on hype. This time, I wasn’t disappointed.

ASK AGAIN, YES chronicles forty-plus years in the lives of two families. Both have Irish roots, husbands in the NYPD, and the germs of ill will between them, but what ultimately ties them together is love between the daughter of one and the son of the other, childhood playmates who evolve into much, much more.

This character-based plot is complex, with varying points of view and shifting voices as the years progress, but the author’s insight is deep and her writing evocative enough to pull it off with aplomb. Issues here include alcoholism and mental illness. Days after I’ve finished reading ASK AGAIN, YES, though, what haunts me is the toll that early trauma can take on later life. The author doesn’t lecture; she simply tells her story.

And tells it. And tells it. This is a long book. I have no trouble with long books. I simply felt that this one went into detail about some characters in whom we aren’t really invested, and fails to do so about some that we are.  This makes for a bit more telling than doing if you know what I mean.

That said, ASK AGAIN, YES us an intelligent, well-written, totally worthwhile read. For me, bottom line? It is about working with what life brings and overcoming adversity. It’s about forgiveness. It’s about deep, true love.

And that, fellow reader, is uplifting.

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