Friday, October 11, 2019

'Ask Again, Yes' by Mary Beth Keane

11 October 2019

I really enjoyed 'Ask Again, Yes', the new novel by Mary Beth Keane, which I've just finished reading as an unabridged audio book, narrated by Molly Pope. It's a family saga which follows the families of two New York cops who live next door to each other. A shockingly violent incident drives a wedge between the families and has repercussions for decades. Aspects of the story reminded me of 'The Goldfinch' (reviewed here in February 2014) and Mary Beth Keane's ability to make the reader simultaneously sympathise with characters who have diametrically opposed views rivals Jonathan Franzen in 'The Corrections' (reviewed here in Februy 2015). 'Ask Again, Yes' also has a lot in common with 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' by Lionel Shriver (reviewed here in August 2006). This is exalted company for a contemporary novel but is totally deserved. Mary Beth Keane resists a multitude of possible corny plot twists to present a moving and believably realistic picture of flawed people dealing with difficult situations as well as they can.



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