Thursday, 8 August 2019

Ask Again Ask by Mary Beth Keane.

Gillam, upstate New York: a town of ordinary, big-lawned suburban houses. The Gleesons have recently moved there and soon welcome the Stanhopes as their new neighbours. Lonely Lena Gleeson wants a friend but Anne Stanhope - cold, elegant, unstable - wants to be left alone.
It's left to their children - Lena's youngest, Kate, and Anne's only child, Peter - to find their way to one another. To form a friendship whose resilience and love will be almost broken by the fault line dividing both families, and by the terrible tragedy that will engulf them all. A tragedy whose true origins only become clear many years later . . .
A story of love and redemption, faith and forgiveness, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood - villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so. A story of how, if we're lucky, the violence lurking beneath everyday life can be vanquished by the power of love. 

Francis and Brian both Irish immigrants and both working for NYPD move into neighbouring  houses with their wives and families. Francis has three girls and Brian one boy.
Francis's daughter Kate is best friends with Brian's son Peter but his mother,Anne doesn't approve of the friendship and does everything possible to keep them apart.

Anne is jealous,unpredictable and could be dangerous. Her husband has lived with this for years,has seen how she treats her son and ignores it,does nothing about it and that is the main reason everyone's lives fall apart.

After a catastrophic event we follow the lives of Kate and Peter and of their parents. We see how they come to terms with events and if there can ever be any kind of forgiveness.

This was such a good story. My feelings for Peter changed during the book. 
First, I liked him,felt sorry for him then I lost my patience with him. Kate was a strong girl who turned into a strong,loyal woman. 

The other events in the book, mental illness,alcoholism are dealt with sensitively. 
Are there some things we can't forgive? Do we just accept that and get on with our lives? Why do some people run away and begin new lives while others stay and face up to what they have left to deal with.
I asked myself all those questions at the end of the book. Some were answered.
Good story,good ending. 

Published today 8th Aug for kindle and hardback  I do think kindle download is expensive so I would wait for paperback. 

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