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Ask Him Why Kindle Edition
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From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a stunning, emotional story of a young soldier’s unthinkable act…and the unbreakable bonds between a sister and brother.
Ruth and her little brother, Aubrey, are just teenagers when their older brother ships off to Iraq. When Joseph returns, uninjured, only three and a half months later, Ruth is happy he is safe but also deeply worried. How can it be that her courageous big brother has been dishonorably discharged for refusing to go out on duty? Aubrey can’t believe that his hero doesn’t have very good reasons.
Yet as the horrifying details of the incident emerge, Joseph disappears. In their attempts to find him, Ruth and Aubrey discover he has a past far darker than either of them could imagine. But even as they learn more about their brother, important questions remain unanswered—why did he betray his unit, his country, and now his family? Joseph’s refusal to speak ignites a fire in young Aubrey that results in a disastrous, and public, act of rebellion.
The impact of Joseph’s fateful decision one night in Baghdad will echo for years to come, with his siblings caught between their love for him and the media’s engulfing frenzy of judgment. Will their family ever make their way back to each other and find a way to forgive?
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“As in her internationally renowned Pay It Forward (2000), she delivers a story full of intense emotion that, while at times heavy with heartbreak and despair, ultimately delivers a powerful and rewarding message of hope and redemption.” —Booklist
“Hyde (Worthy, 2015, etc.), the bestselling author of Pay It Forward, deftly and compassionately crafts Ruth’s and Aubrey’s bewildered interior monologues...A poignant and warmly humorous tale of emotional survival.” —Kirkus Reviews
“When readers finally learn the truth behind Joseph’s actions, the tears might flow. This book is highly recommended.” —Manhattan Book Review
About the Author
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of thirty-three published books. Her bestselling 1999 novel, Pay It Forward, adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture, made the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list and was translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in more than thirty countries. Her novels Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List; Jumpstart the World was also a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards and won Rainbow Awards in two categories. The Language of Hoofbeats won a Rainbow Award. More than fifty of her short stories have been published in many journals, including the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts, as well as the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her short fiction received honorable mention in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, a second-place win for the Tobias Wolff Award, and nominations for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have also been cited in Best American Short Stories.
Hyde is the founder and former president of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker, she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton. An avid equestrian, photographer, and traveler, she lives in California.
- ASIN : B00XCKT8AI
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (December 15, 2015)
- Publication date : December 15, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 1935 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 332 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,372 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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The characters are authentic, vulnerable, and flawed. The dysfunctional family dynamics are painful and real. Ms. Ryan Hyde addresses relevant issues: family, loyalty, love, relationships, judgments, war, and forgiveness. She asks the reader to look at the complexities of situations. To examine multiple points of view and invites you to witness life lessons and personal growth. This is a powerful book that brought tears to my eyes. I devoured it, not wanting to put it down in order to work, eat, or sleep. At the same time, I wanted to savor it. I enjoyed spending time with these people and was reluctant to finish as that meant saying goodbye to my new friends.
I recommend Ask Him Why to anyone who enjoys meaningful literature. It is a great read for everyone who has ever made a quick and unfair judgment about something or someone. I think it will speak to those who have served in our armed services. It will resonate with anyone who has felt insignificant and has yearned to be recognized, seen, heard and acknowledged. It is a beacon of hope for those who have found themselves in the depths of despair and depression. I admire Catherine Ryan Hyde’s ability to see the best in people and am grateful that she shares her wisdom and philosophies with her readers. Her work is stellar! To quote from this book, “Not a bad life’s work.”
Joseph goes to war and comes home shortly thereafter, facing military punishment for refusing an order to go out on a patrol where two fellow soldiers were killed. He tries to explain to his closed-off, troubled family why he did what he did, but the timing was never quite right. He goes to the one person he knows will understand.
The story unfolds in a very orderly fashion, with the impressions of Joseph's sister Ruth and his brother, Aubrey, that change through the years, but always with an inability to understand why Joseph felt compelled to do what he did. It isn't until a fateful family Thanksgiving that all is revealed, and not a moment too late. The ending will wrap you up in it and won't let you go.
I am enchanted with this author's books, and I hope everyone gets to read as many of them as possible. I have never been disappointed in any of her stories. They're intelligent, well-edited and always with a profound message of vulnerability, redemption and acceptance.
The characters are well-defined and, although they are flawed, it is easy to understand their feelings toward their wayward brother and son. There's more to Joseph and his actions than meets the eye. Therein lies the wonder of this book. There is hope here. It doesn't seem like a family can survive such a nightmare, but, as with Hyde's other books, we learn that people are stronger than they think.
I highly recommend this book. I recommend all of Catherine Ryan Hyde's books. Each is a complete gem.