Ask Again, Yes [Book Review]

May 17, 2019

How do you know when you’ve read a five star read?

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Ask Again Yes Review

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Beautifully written, Ask Again, Yes introduces us to two families who live next door to each other. Behind closed doors, the families deal with complicated issues. Meanwhile, two of their children, born six months apart, grow up as each other’s constant and best playmate and develop a deep friendship as they hang out after school. Just as Kate and Peter grow old enough to discover they might be attracted to each other, a tragic event happens that changes everything for the two families. One family moves away and the children’s friendship is torn apart.

The remainder of the story involves the children, who are now grown, coming to terms with what happened and figuring out what this means for their relationship, their families, and their future.

My Thoughts:

Thanks to #NetGalley #Scribner @ScribnerBooks for a complimentary eARC of #AskAgainYes by Mary Beth Keane upon my request. All opinions are my own.

TBR Worthy: How do I find the words to tell you about one of my best reads of the year without revealing spoilers?! If you appreciate complicated family stories with poignant, relevant themes, I think you might want to add Ask Again, Yes to your TBR! It’s already secured a place on my best of year list!

Themes: I love realistic and complicated family stories! Thought-provoking themes include neighborly relationships, friendship, mental health, tragedy, addiction, forgiveness, and redemption. Among all these threads, there is a love story.

Structure: Yes Again, Yes is told from multiple points of view, and the characters are complex and well drawn. I love how the author causes me to care deeply for each one and how I still think about them. It reminds me of A Place For Us in that way.

Character Driven and Engaging: Even though Yes Again, Yes is heavily character driven, it is engaging and moves at a fast pace. I read it in two days. When I finished, I had that “wow” feeling that indicates how emotionally I had connected with the characters and their situations. I like that the story feels realistic, and I love the big themes of regret, forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, second chances, growth, and redemption.

Recommended: I’m highly recommending this heartfelt and engaging story for readers who appreciate complicated family drama, for fans of well-written, character-driven fiction, and for book clubs because of its rich discussion possibilities. Ask Again, Yes is among my best reads of the year!

***trigger warnings: mental health, fear that someone committed suicide or murder (through gun violence), alcohol addiction

My Rating:  5 Stars


Ask Again, Yes

Yes Again, Yes Information

Meet the Author, Mary Beth Keane

Mary Beth Keane

Mary Beth Keane is the author of The Walking People (2009) and Fever (2013), about the life of Typhoid Mary. She attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA in Fiction. In 2011, she was named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35. She is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow and lives just outside New York City with her husband and their two sons.

Let’s Discuss!

QOTD: Do you enjoy stories involving family drama and complex family dynamics?

Have you read Ask Again, Yes or is it on your TBR?

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

Looking Ahead:

Next week look for reviews of Paper Hearts and The Scent Keeper.

Paper Hearts

The Scent Keeper

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.



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  2. Ahh what a lovely review, this sounds like such an interesting read! I love character-driven stories and complex family relationships just as well, so this sounds lovely 🙂
    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  3. Hi Carol,
    that sounds like another interesting book you recommend. I found it, of course, on Carole’s Chatter though I do follow your blog in the meantime.

    Anyway, I just went through your list of books and didn’t find many that we have in common. However, I do like most of those that we do and will have a look at more books from your list, looks like there will be quite a few good suggestions.

    Thanks and have a nice weekend,

    • Thank you so much for reading, commenting and following Marianne! 😍👍 I’m eager to see which books we both love! Happy reading! If you read The Scent Keeper me know what you think!

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