Release Date: May 28, 2019
My Rating: 🍪🍪🍪🍪.5
Ask Again, Yes was a very real book. It explored heavy topics, like, shooting your neighbor heavy, and I was not prepared. The story opens with the courtship of Francis and Lena, leading to them getting married and buying their first home. This segment was artful and descriptive and sucked me right in, but was not representative of the majority of the book (which is fine). The couple settles into their new home, and begins to have children, while a new couple, the Stanhopes, moves into the house next door. Brian, the husband, works with Francis on the police force, but his wife Anne, seems distant, rude, even troubled, despite Lena’s many efforts to be friendly.
Once the Stanhopes have a child of their own, Peter, he quickly befriends Francis and Lena’s daughter Kate, who is close to him in age. As neighbors, it is easy for them to see each other often. Their childhood friendship seemed predictable based on proximity alone. As they get older, a hint of romance worms its way into their relationship. One night, they plan to sneak out at midnight together. The idea is nothing beyond the innocent, just two teenagers bending a few rules, but the results of the outing are catastrophic, and catalyze the Stanhope’s moving away. Peter goes to New York City with his dad, and he and Kate fall out of touch.
The rest of the book follows Kate and Peter’s respective lives as they grow up. Kate’s family struggles with the aftermath of the trauma inflicted by Anne Stanhope, while Peter’s reality revolves around trying to visit his mother in a home he is repeatedly turned away from. His father eventually moves away and leaves Peter to live with his uncle.
As Kate and Peter went off to college and explored the possibility of other relationships, I couldn’t help but wonder what would bring them back together. I loved the details of Peter’s life, his financial struggles in the face of college, his interest in running, and his indecision surrounding his future career.
This book covered a tremendous amount of time. Not only did Peter and Kate reconnect, we see them through their marriage, growing family, and many, many struggles. As Peter works through career changes and addiction, Kate tries to figure out how to reintroduce Peter’s mother into their lives.
The raw, real way that Keane writes about life hit home. Kate and Peter deal with, I’d say, a bit more in the way of hardships for a couple, but much of their story reflects what most people go through. Kean’s storytelling kept the twists and turns of their lives compelling. I’m not quite sure what genre I would put this book in, because it’s truly just the story of two lives that are inextricably intertwined. If you’re not afraid of facing all of life’s difficulties (times two) in less than 400 pages, pick up Ask Again, Yes, you won’t be disappointed.