Ask Him Why by Catherine Ryan Hyde

How do you judge others?     

My rating:  5 out of 5     

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10 years ago, in 2003, Ruth and Aubrey’s life was turned upside down by the return of their brothAsk Him Whyer from fighting in Iraq with the US military, after only 3.5 months.  He was not injured.  He had refused to obey orders.  The family unit already had lots of “boundaries, with not a lot of permission to cross“, and here was yet another reason for more silence.

The story is narrated by Ruth and Aubrey looking back at what happened in 2013 when they were  15 and 13 years old, and the devastating outcome of that event on the whole family.  Themes explored include how people feel they have the right to make derogatory judgements on events they have no personal knowledge of and how secrets, guilt and regrets are poisonous things that grow within a person.

The book then moves onto 2013.  Much has changed over the years for Ruth and Aubrey – but how much of the change is just  skin deep, and how are the events of the past still influencing their lives?

I loved this book.   I was immediately drawn to the characters, and their narration of events, as they saw them,  is enthralling.   The book is so well written; it draws you to compare what is happening to Ruth and Aubrey in connection to current events, and made me wonder (again) why people write such terrible things on the internet under the cloak of anonymity.  The small section on being  in the US army in Iraq is also very thought provoking.

With no sex or violence this book will appeal to a wide age group.

Written by the same author of Pay It Forward – if you loved that, I think you will love this.

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