Ask Again, Yes: A Novel

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“One of the most unpretentiously profound books I've read in a long time…modestly magnificent.” —Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

“A beautiful novel, bursting at the seams with empathy.” —Elle

How much can a family forgive?

A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, the daily intimacies of marriage, and the power of forgiveness.

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, rookie cops in the NYPD, live next door to each other outside the city. 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.

Ask Again, Yes is a deeply affecting exploration of the lifelong friendship and love that 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 40 years. Luminous, heartbreaking, and redemptive, 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. Kate and Peter’s love story, while haunted by echoes from the past, is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.
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About the author

Mary Beth Keane attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA. She has been named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35,” and was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing. She currently lives in Pearl River, New York with her husband and their two sons. She is also the author of The Walking People, Fever, and Ask Again, Yes.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
May 28, 2019
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781982107000
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“Taut, emotionally intense, and wholly believable, this beautiful and uplifting debut” (Kirkus Reviews) about a young black boy’s quest to reunite with his beloved white half-brother after they are separated in foster care is a sparkling novel perfect for fans of The Language of Flowers.

Leon loves chocolate bars, Saturday morning cartoons, and his beautiful, golden-haired baby brother. When Jake is born, Leon pokes his head in the crib and says, “I’m your brother. Big brother. My. Name. Is. Leon. I am eight and three quarters. I am a boy.” Jake will play with no one but Leon, and Leon is determined to save him from any pain and earn that sparkling baby laugh every chance he can.

But Leon isn’t in control of this world where adults say one thing and mean another. When their mother falls victim to her inner demons, strangers suddenly take Jake away; after all, a white baby is easy to adopt, while a half-black, nine-year-old faces a less certain fate. Vowing to get Jake back by any means necessary, Leon’s own journey will carry him through the lives of a doting but ailing foster mother, Maureen; Maureen’s cranky and hilarious sister, Sylvia; a social worker Leon knows only as “The Zebra”; and a colorful community of local gardeners and West Indian political activists.

Told through the perspective of young Leon, too innocent to entirely understand what has happened to him and baby Jake, but determined to do what he can to make things right. In the end, this is an uplifting story about the power of love, the unbreakable bond between brothers, and the truth about what ultimately makes a family. My Name Is Leon will capture your imagination and steal your heart with its “moving exploration of race and the foster-care system that offers precious insight into the mind of a child forced to grow up well before his time” (Booklist).
Love—common and uncommon, vengeful and transformational—is the theme of this superb collection from the bestselling author of Notes from an Exhibition.
 
From subtle tales of domestic unease to a story featuring a caravan that transports three generations of a family away from their small-town lives, author Patrick Gale proves in his second story collection that he is a master at mining the loneliness, yearning, and eternal optimism of the human spirit.
 
The lonely wife of a prison governor—and the only female on an inaccessible island—gets a lesson in angling from an inmate who will pay a high price in “The Lesson.” In “Saving Space,” a widower returns to a summer music festival to revisit bittersweet memories of his wife—and receives consolation from another woman’s ghost. In “Petals on a Pool,” a female author bonds with a male poet at a book convention in Hong Kong where no one has heard of them—until she sees something odd floating among the petals in the hotel’s pool. The puppy training lessons at the center of “Obedience” serve as the catalyst for the rekindled sex life of a couple when the husband is suspected of murder.
 
Gentleman’s Relish also features chilling tales of blood and revenge. In “Making Hay,” a senior citizen living in a retirement home conceives a diabolical payback in the form of family folklore told to her young grandchildren. And in “Cookery,” a son exacts a nasty retribution against his homophobic father when he whips up an extra-special dinner.
 
Some of these stories unfold like dreams—or nightmares—and others dissect with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel. Narrated with wit, glee, and surprising tenderness, this collection includes unsung masterpieces like “Hushed Casket,” in which a husband on his honeymoon discovers an old tea casket in an abandoned church that releases a macabre spirit, and suddenly, the homely spouse is transformed into an irresistible sex magnet.
 
Additionally included here are stories originally commissioned by BBC Radio 4, as well as “In the Camp,” which explores the childhood of Laura Lewis, the heroine of Gale’s acclaimed novel The Whole Day Through. With Gale’s sharp eye for detail and unerring ear for dialogue, this pitch-perfect, something-for-everyone collection is sure to lure readers in—and keep them hooked. 
 
The tender, engaging story of a family in pain and a boy whose quest for courage leads him deep into the wilds of Appalachia

In 1948 Madeline Tally leaves her philandering husband and returns home to North Carolina, where she and her thirteen-year-old son, James, move into an ugly purple trailer in the cow pasture behind her father’s farmhouse. Smart and sensitive, James worries that he is somehow responsible for his parents’ separation and feels out of place in the town where he grew up but has not been back to for five years. None of his old friends have time for him anymore, and his only new one is Lester Buck, a poor, peculiar boy who shares James’s love of the outdoors.

In Pittsburgh, Edward Tally spends his nights drinking with his fellow construction workers in the bar downstairs from his new apartment. He tries to tell himself that he is better off without Madeline and James, that he wants to be his own man again, free of the expectations that he was never able to meet. But there is a burden on his heart that cannot be eased by booze or by Paris Pergola, the seductive, moody blonde he has taken up with.

Told from the alternating perspectives of the three Tallys, Thief of Dreams builds to a stunning climax as Edward comes to North Carolina to try to win back his family, and James and Lester get into a vicious fight with a schoolyard bully. With his friend in the hospital and his parents unable to bridge the divide between them, James heads into the frozen forest. What he discovers there will give him enough wisdom and experience to last a lifetime, if he can only make it back to his family alive.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory—his most ambitious, mind-boggling, irresistible work to date, and the inspiration for Shondaland’s upcoming Netflix film.

“An action-packed, brilliantly unique ride that had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page . . . a fantastic read.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian

Memory makes reality. That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent. 

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?

Praise for Recursion

“Blake Crouch has invented his own brand of page-turner—fearlessly genre-bending, consistently surprising, and determined to explode the boundaries of what a thriller can be.”—Karin Slaughter, #1 internationally bestselling author of Pieces of Her
 
“Brilliant. Crouch’s innovative novels never fail to grip!”—Sarah Pekkanen, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl
 
“A masterful mind-bender of a novel. Crouch brilliantly infuses his story with dire repercussions and unexpected moral upheaval, and leaves you wondering what you would do if you had the chance to turn back the clock.”—Mark Sullivan, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Private series and author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky 
Mary Beth Keane, named one of the 5 Under 35 by the National Book Foundation, has written a spectacularly bold and intriguing novel about the woman known as “Typhoid Mary,” the first person in America identified as a healthy carrier of Typhoid Fever.

On the eve of the twentieth century, Mary Mallon emigrated from Ireland at age fifteen to make her way in New York City. Brave, headstrong, and dreaming of being a cook, she fought to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic-service ladder. Canny and enterprising, she worked her way to the kitchen, and discovered in herself the true talent of a chef. Sought after by New York aristocracy, and with an independence rare for a woman of the time, she seemed to have achieved the life she’d aimed for when she arrived in Castle Garden. Then one determined “medical engineer” noticed that she left a trail of disease wherever she cooked, and identified her as an “asymptomatic carrier” of Typhoid Fever. With this seemingly preposterous theory, he made Mallon a hunted woman.

The Department of Health sent Mallon to North Brother Island, where she was kept in isolation from 1907 to 1910, then released under the condition that she never work as a cook again. Yet for Mary—proud of her former status and passionate about cooking—the alternatives were abhorrent. She defied the edict.

Bringing early-twentieth-century New York alive—the neighborhoods, the bars, the park carved out of upper Manhattan, the boat traffic, the mansions and sweatshops and emerging skyscrapers—Fever is an ambitious retelling of a forgotten life. In the imagination of Mary Beth Keane, Mary Mallon becomes a fiercely compelling, dramatic, vexing, sympathetic, uncompromising, and unforgettable heroine.
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