Ask Again, Yes

A Novel
Narrated by: Molly Pope
Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4,131 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The triumphant New York Times Best Seller * The Tonight Show Summer Reads Pick *

Named one of the best books of the year by People, Vogue, Parade, NPR, and Elle

“This is one beautiful book. I was wowed by Keane’s writing and narrative skill - and by what she knows about trouble.” (Stephen King)

How much can a family forgive?

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, rookie NYPD cops, are neighbors in the suburbs. What happens behind closed doors in both houses - the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the explosive events to come.

In Mary Beth Keane's extraordinary novel, a lifelong friendship and love blossoms between Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope, born six months apart. One shocking night their loyalties are divided, and their bond will be tested again and again over the next 30 years. Heartbreaking and redemptive, Ask Again, Yes is a gorgeous and generous portrait of the daily intimacies of marriage and the power of forgiveness.

©2019 Mary Beth Keane (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Molly Pope delivers this character-driven exploration of two families whose stories intertwine over decades. With sensitivity and insight, she creates believable, multilayered characters, leading listeners through shifting narratives across time.... Pope's steady pace and excellent voicing of dialogue work well. Like the event at its center, this story unfolds with long-lasting reverberations for listeners." (AudioFile Magazine)

What listeners say about Ask Again, Yes

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Grabs Hold of Your Heart and Doesn't Let Go

I have listened to more than 400 audio books over the past 10 years and although I have enjoyed several of them immensely, not once have I ever felt compelled to sit down and write a review; until now. There was just something about this book that was so profoundly moving to me that I just feel the overwhelming desire to try to express it somehow. Not only was it beautifully and intelligently written, but Ms. Keane's attention to detail and her ability to create a narrative that just FELT so completely realistic was unlike anything I've ever read before. I have to admit that I can't put my finger on what the magic of this book is, exactly, but there was something about it that reached a place deep inside of me and it was more like I experienced the book than listened to it. The narrator was fantastic as well, a perfect choice, completing what I would consider to be to be a truly marvelous work of art. I can't recommend it strongly enough. Fantastic!

22 people found this helpful

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An extraordinarily s

A book to love and to long to end well.

Characters that move into your own life, echoing common struggles like estrangement, parental mental illness and alcoholism, heroism not where you’d expect it and love, love, love.

A beautiful and meaningful book. A gift.

17 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Waiting . . . waiting . . .

Have you ever read a story that you just knew you were about to get to the good part? Well, that never happened here. The story began with an interesting premise, but then didn't know what to do next. Characters disappeared never to be heard from again. Some started out with interesting stories that just fizzled out. But I think what bothered me most was the way the characters spoke to each other. I don't know if it was the writing or the narrator. During some of what I thought was the most emotionally pack scenes, the characters spoke with little to no affect in their voice. It was like whatever, so that's how I started to feel. I don't think I really liked or enjoyed any of the characters by the end of the book.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Wanted to like it but....

I want to like this story so much and some parts I thought were good, but the time jumps were just not a style I like. And even though Peter is a main character, I felt very little emotion or personality from him. I liked Kate though so I wanted to see more of their relationship in the earlier years rather than the story skimming quickly from their early 20s to their late 30s. Sure, I agree with other reviews that the characters are honest, flawed and real but there wasn’t any drive in me to know how it ends. Would I recommend it to friends? Maybe, but probably not.

The narrator was fine overall in terms of performance. My only issue was that it was challenging to tell when a character’s mental flashback, or even flashback-within-a-flashback, had ended and since so much of this story revolves around the timeline, that’s important to know. That problem could be more due to the writing style than the narration though.

10 people found this helpful

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Truth and fiction sometimes go hanging hand

The author captures real emotions and honest family situations that parallel reality so clearly that I wouldn’t be surprised to read that such an incident had actually occurred. Her multiple points of view give such insight into her characters thoughts and feelings that the reader almost feels like she/he is sitting in the living room or car of the protagonists as they navigate the paths that lead them to the satisfying yet far from pat conclusion. I would love to follow Peter and Kate as they grow through middle to old age - whether they continue their tenuous road to recovery or take a different direction. Ann, Lena, and Frances are well drawn as the secondary characters, who complicate the lives of these dynamic and flawed but totally realistic lovers. I will read anything Keane puts forward.

18 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Pretty darn boring.

I got half way through this book, and truly couldnt keep listening. I think half way through a book is really giving it a good shot. And I say... this is a boring book.

11 people found this helpful

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Seemed slow to start. Unattached

It did seem slow at the beginning. It did not see to attach to the story but as it got going I realized it was intentional and brilliant.

I loved the story. I enjoyed the authors writing and would definitely read another book from her.

2 people found this helpful

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I kept thinking I was missing something.

I really wanted to like this book. It got so many good reviews. Very disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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Didn’t like it.

Very depressing and predictable . This was my first and last book by this author. I was once told by a friend never to finish a book you weren’t enjoying because it is unfair to the author. Now I understand what she meant .It was chosen for Bookclub so I had to finish it. The narrator was very good.

2 people found this helpful

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and the point is...?

i always thought a book should have somewhat of a point.. a reason... a purpose... Many potential options- but no - nothing... performance of narrator wasn’t bad, but often she didn’t pause when a paragraph went from one to the next - particularly when it went from talking about the past to the present... waste of money!

11 people found this helpful