Ask Again, Yes - Book Review

Author: Mary Beth Keane

Genre: Novel

Publisher: Scribner

Pages: 416

Price: $12.99

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About The Author

Mary Beth Keane went to Barnard College & the University of Virginia, where she got an MFA. She has been nominated one of the National Book Foundation's ‘5 under 35’ and was granted a Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing. She presently resides in Pearl River, New York, with her hubby and their two children. Furthermore, she is the author of Fever, The Walking People, and Ask Again, Yes.

Book Review

The neighboring family unit in a NY commuter suburb is interwoven, root and branch, via work, their youngsters, and misfortune of significant result. Showing amazing reach in this third—and perhaps breakout—novel Keane (Fever, 2013, and so on) conveys a heroic of household emotive chaos.

Its twin families are joined at first through the vocations of Francis Gleeson & Brian Stanhope, who meet as unmarried newbies in the NY City police academy. Afterward, presently with accomplices, they move into neighboring homes in the safe-appearing to be a humble community of Gillam, where Francis' better half, Lena, brings forth three girls, Natalie, Sara, and Kate. Brian's spouse, Anne, whose personality is progressively inconsistent, loses her first youngster; however then has a kid, Peter.

Kinship among Peter and Kate is established from the beginning, and as young people, two or three's warm gestures escalate. Yet, on the night Peter discloses to Kate he figures they will wed one day, Anne's psychological aggravation and viciousness arrive at a peak, one that causes horrendous, permanent harm and divides Peter and Kate.

Described from various points of view, in merciful yet cool tones, Keane's story accepts family lives taking all things together in their quieted, standard, yet seismic shades. The Gleesons offer strength and suspicion that marriage will suffer, regardless of the tests. The Stanhopes, in any case, are seamed with acquired separation points, and Peter won't arise sound from his childhood.

Keane offers sympathy and the long view, across a bigger range of issues than is from the start evident, seeking after her story for quite a long time while sticking to Anne's perception ‘that the start of one's life made a difference the most, that life was unbalanced that way.’

Caring and persistent, the novel maintains a strategic distance from unnecessary pleasantness while planting itself somewhere down in the dirt of responsibility and connection. Smooth and develop. It a determinedly fulfilling, captivating to read.

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Critic’s Views


Mary Beth Keane takes on perhaps the most troublesome issues in fiction—how to expound on human conventionality. In Ask Again, Yes, Keane makes a layered passionate truth that puts forth a convincing defense for empathy over fault, understanding over resentment, and the versatility of hearts that can acknowledge the inconsistencies of affection.


Quite possibly the most straightforwardly significant books I've perused in quite a while… Keane composes with profound commonality and accuracy about the existences of this specific age… As an author, Keane helps me a ton to remember Ann Patchett: Both have the mysterious capacity to appear to be telling ‘just’ an intently noticed homegrown story that changes into something different profound and, indeed, widespread. For Keane's situation, that ‘something different is an anecdote about absolution and acknowledgment… unobtrusively great.


Mary Beth Keane looks past the facade that covers conventional minutes and into the actual heart of reality. There's a Tolstoyan gravity, understanding, and good heave in these pages, and Keane's capacity to plumb the profundities of valid inclination while staying away from nostalgia leaves one shaking one's head in blunt adoration.

This great book is such countless things: a holding family show; a touchy contemplation on psychological instability; a choice on the force and cost of faithfulness; a tearing yarn that brings us down into the profundities and backs up; so, a victory.

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Thanks for reading.


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