Book #81 of 2020 | Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Title: Ask Again, Yes

Author: Mary Beth Keane

Thoughts: I tried for so long to come up with the right word to describe this book, and I finally thought of it: enthralling. I found this book absolutely enthralling. I would sit at my desk at work all day, thinking about the book, its characters, and when I could get home so I could dive back into their lives. I wanted to know what happened at the end, but I also didn’t want the book to be over. I loved Kate and Peter’s characters especially, but I so appreciated how all the characters were both good and flawed—not good because they were flawed or good in spite of the fact they were flawed, but both good and flawed, just imperfect humans trying their best, sometimes failing, but sometimes succeeding, too.

Favorite Lines:
“…even then he could feel something in her settle, go still, when he had her full attention.” (p. 34)

“‘The thing is, Peter, grown-ups don’t know what they’re doing any better than kids do. That’s the truth.'” (p. 155)

“They were walking along the sidewalk in Bay Ridge and he’d stopped to kiss her, their cold noses brushing up against one another. She wasn’t looking for him to say it back, she was just letting him know that her love was his to keep or to fritter away.” (p. 229)

“Although each of them had looked different back in eighth grade, there was a feeling of returning to the familiar, to what had always been theirs.” (p. 233)

“She’d turned her back on Ireland the day she left but it was still there, behind her, like a shadow that followed her from place to place to place.” (p. 267)

“They’d both learned that a memory is a fact that’s been dyed and trimmed and rinsed so many times that it comes out looking almost unrecognizable to anyone else who was in that room, anyone else who was standing on the grass beneath that telephone pole.” (p. 312)

“Francis could see that same nameless grief in her—not homesickness, exactly, more like a low fury at having to leave in the first place, and with so little money or wisdom, and to be in a place for so many years that was not home, though neither was home still a home, so where did that leave them?” (p. 355)

“But things are meant to change, Peter said. Because life changes and people change. As long as we change together, we’re okay.” (p. 364)

“‘Things are better now, they feel like they’re getting better—don’t they? But there might be more coming. This might be the least of it. Have you thought about that? We knew nothing about what it meant to grow up, to be partners, parents, all of it. Nothing. And maybe we still don’t. Would you have said yes back then if you’d known?’ ‘But I know now. So ask me.’ But he couldn’t find the right words. ‘I’ll give you a hint,’ she said, squeezing his hands until he looked up to meet her eyes. ‘Then and now, I say yes.'” (p. 376)

Click here to purchase Ask Again, Yes

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