From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes the stunning and emotional story of a young soldier's unthinkable act...and the bonds of a sister and brother's love.
Ruth and her little brother, Aubrey, are just teenagers when their older brother ships off to Iraq. When Joseph returns, uninjured, only three and a half months later, Ruth is happy he is safe but also deeply worried. How can it be that her courageous big brother has been dishonorably discharged for refusing to go out on duty? Aubrey can't believe that his hero doesn't have very good reasons.
Yet as the horrifying details of the incident emerge, Joseph disappears. In their attempts to find him, Ruth and Aubrey discover he has a past far darker than either of them could imagine. But even as they learn more about their brother, important questions remain unanswered - why did he betray his unit, his country, and now his family? Joseph's refusal to speak ignites a fire in young Aubrey that results in a disastrous, and public, act of rebellion.
The impact of Joseph's fateful decision one night in Baghdad will echo for years to come, with his siblings caught between their love for him and the media's engulfing frenzy of judgment. Will their family ever make their way back to each other and find a way to forgive?
©2015 Catherine Ryan Hyde (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I loved the story and the reading and performance of it. a story of a broken family and growing up believing one thing and finding out things are not what they seemed to be. it is about helping someone , helping yourself and growing up. learning you can love imperfect people because we are all imperfect . also that there are angels among us. loved this book would make a wonder movie . I am a fan for life.
This is a beautiful look into the lives of the hurting. Of being saved when you didn't think anyone cared to save you. I very much so enjoyed every moment and it ended in the most important way. Well done Catherine Ryan Hyde. And thank you.
Great story. Loved the characters. Had the audio version and got so much housework done as I couldn't stop listening! My favorite character was Ruth. I loved the articulation of her observations.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
"Ask Him Why" is just what you'd expect from Catherine Ryan Hyde, only her characters here are more complex and have more in their lives and backgrounds than usual.
Ruth and Aubrey live with not Mom and Dad, but Janet and Brad. It's a world of rules and a distinct lack of warmth, where being rigid is the only way to be, no matter what you feel inside. Don't like the coldness at the dinner table? Stare at the chandelier until you see white spots rather than say anything. When big brother Joseph does the unthinkable, all that is left is emptiness, denial, and a lack of acceptance. And if big brother Joseph can't respond back to you: Cut him out of your life, say the worst things imaginable, maybe even to the press.
This is not literary fiction. There is no complexity of language, no figurative phrasing, the setting is just a setting. But the characters, especially Aubrey, are really well-written, really warm and involved in their own lives, their own devastating mistakes that they must live with.
Amy McFadden gives a solid performance as Ruth at all ages, and Nick Podehl! Well, what can you say about Nick Podehl except that he rocks!
"Ask Him Why" sometimes has a YA feel, but it's for anyone who lives with devastating choices.
And it doesn't hurt when you have the world's best therapist and gorgeous fish to stare at to take your mind off what you've done and what you've become...
loved it one of the best ever. great performance, made the characters come alive could recommend to anyone
There are plenty of detailed reviews that describe the storyline, but I would like to emphasize the many ways in which human nature is portrayed. This book IMO, was on par with "The Kite Runner" & other similar books about the complexities of human emotions. Again, outstanding!
The story is emotional, thought provoking. The readers were excellent. I can't say I enjoyed it, because it was about a family in pain, but it was well written and a satisfying story .
The narration was totally awesome for this audio book. The characters came to life because of their excellent narration. The book's content was only fair compared to their performance.
Well worth the time spent listening nicely illustrating the ruin of expectations to the emotional embrace of acceptance. Of course, the reader is privileged to share the judgment, disgust, and confusion which, so aptly woven through the plot, finally experiences the cleverly hidden emotions existing below the surface. Very well done!
This is one of the most enlightening, truthful novels I have ever read that doesn't focus on God, himself. Even though it didn't catch my heart and mind at first, I found myself going slower and slower just to savor the richness of understanding and wisdom revealed by the characters in the story. I am so glad I pressed on and didn't put it aside! I will read it and share it again and again.
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