About the Book:
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 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 Francis and Lena’s daughter, Kate, and Brian and Anne’s son, Peter. 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 tested by echoes from the past, is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.
“…love is only part of the story.”
Such a powerful and poignant book! What happens when an unexpected trauma hits two families? This novel follows Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope, childhood sweethearts who grew up together in the same neighborhood in New York. The children of NYPD police officers, their fathers Brian Stanhope and Francis Gleason knew each other but aren’t close. Peter’s mother Anne is odd and Kate’s mother Lena is warm and vivacious. A terrible tragedy tragedy splits the two families and Peter and Kate are forbidden from seeing each other again. For two innocent eighth graders, this unexpected event would shape the course of their lives forever.
“One thing leads to another which leads to another, yes, but who could have predicted that last fallen domino would skid so far from the neatly toppled row? Not the pair of teenagers, that was for sure.”
This book moved me in so many ways! The author writes not only about teenage infatuation, but about marriage, family, addiction and mental illness. Every topic is handled with sensitivity and great insight. The author moves seamlessly between different points of view. Every character felt very authentic and real.
Peter especially was just heartbreaking to me. Raised in a family that didn’t really talk about feelings at all, he is at a loss to navigate the tragedy that falls on the Stanhope family. Ms. Keane gives an intimate portrait of the relationships between parents and children, and husbands and wives. I listed to the audiobook and was absolutely mesmerized by the sometimes matter-of-fact way in which these often stoic characters dealt with the different milestones in their lives.
“What used to be fluent between them felt incomprehensible now, far more difficult to translate. But things are meant to change, Peter said. Because life changes and people change. As long as we change together, we’re okay.”
If you are in the mood for a poignant family saga that will break your heart and put it back together again, then you must read ‘Ask Again, Yes.’ I will never forget the Stanhope and Gleason families!