35 pages 1 hour read

Mary Beth Keane

Ask Again, Yes

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2019

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Important Quotes

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“There was no predicting where life would go. There was no real way for a person to try something out, see if he liked it […] because you try it and try it and try it a little longer and next thing it’s who you are.” 

(Part 1, Page 10)

Francis, born in Ireland and now walking a beat in the Bronx, considers how people plan and dream and yet cannot entirely control or direct how their lives will play out.

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“No, she wondered if a presence was the thing her new neighbor had, if it was something a person had to be born with and could never be learned.”

(Part 1, Page 25)

As she first assesses her new neighbor, Anne, Lena senses something about this beautiful woman. She feels a suspicion, a sense of caution that she cannot quite name. 

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“‘Why is my mother like what?’ Peter answered after a moment […] But he didn’t know, really.”

(Part 1, Page 35)

Peter grows up with a mother who behaves oddly. As a teenager opening up to his new friend, Kate, he is in denial. Rather than acknowledge Anne’s behavior, like everyone else around her, he pretends not to notice.