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Ask Him Why by [Hyde, Catherine Ryan]
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Ask Him Why Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 333 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes the stunning and emotional story of a young soldier’s unthinkable act…and the bonds of a sister and brother’s love.

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?


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2444 KB
  • Print Length: 333 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1503948900
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (15 December 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00XCKT8AI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #374 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This was a great story that held my interest all the way through.
I Really recommend reading it to anyone
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I do not like giving negative critiques but this book was utterly boring, no substance and totally lame. I won't go into detail about the storyline of this book as that is covered in the commentary in the kindle purchase process.
How this book was highly rated beats me.
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By Jaykay on 26 March 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is not a bad book, but it could have been so much better. Good plot, but it was so slow in getting to the point. I couldn't really get into it and skimmed over quite a few pages in the second half.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow!wht an author! Another easy to red story with so much content and feeling, it's just so hard to explain other than to say, do Yourself a favour and read this book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 1,121 reviews
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A family of sorrows 19 December 2015
By Stephanie N. Gomez - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a completely off the cuff review, so bear with me. First of all, I love Catherine Ryan Hyde's books. Every one of them. I've never been disappointed and this time was no different. Ask Him Why tells the story of the Stellkellner family and the horrors they experience when their oldest son,Joseph, who had refused a direct order while in Baghdad, comes home. They are mercilessly hunted by the media and the children even experience bullying at school. The Skellkellner's family wasn't exactly the Cleaver's to begin with and this only intensifies the dysfunction.

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.
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ask Him Why is Stellar! 18 December 2015
By Jan Crossen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Catherine Ryan Hyde is brilliant and a master story teller. I have read the majority of her books and am consistently impressed with her work and her message. Ask Him Why is stellar!

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.”
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Deep and Encompassing Story 10 December 2016
By GTeller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ryan Hyde's book are usually about redemption, and this is no different in that respect. The difference, though, is that an entire family experiences redemption and they experience forgiveness in different ways.

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.
78 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Ask Him Why".. one of the hardest questions.. 16 December 2015
By Michelle Robinson Shealy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
"I was fifteen when our brother Joseph was shipped overseas to fight, and I was fifteen when he came home, uninjured, three and a half months later. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. The army doesn't tend to have deployments that last only three and a half months. That was the heart of our problem right there..."

From the bestselling author of "Pay it Forward" comes a tale of family dysfunction and the love between siblings that bond them together, even when there are things tearing them apart. Ruth and her brother Aubrey are barely teenagers when their older brother Joseph is deployed to Iraq. Joseph returns though in just a few months, dishonorably discharged, with a story that the press is jumping on and the family can't comprehend.

Ruth and Aubrey are struggling to understand secrets that are being uncovered and things that are left unsaid. Then and ten years down the road. They tell the story of what it's like to be a part of a family that is torn apart by their brothers actions. A family that was already on the edge of the abyss to begin with. Such a total lack in communication between family members make it so they kids have to find out on their own exactly what happened to their family before and after Joseph's discharge.

The story goes back and forth between the time of the incident when Joseph came home that day to ten years later as they look back over what happened. The press was merciless, as the press would be. Soldiers died and people blamed Joseph. How did the family of a soldier cope when the world has already judged his guilt?

An emotional drama. Ruth and Aubrey take refuge with their aunt and go in search of answers. Joseph and his parents are leaving these kids to dangle with no explanation. Something I think adults tend to do in a crisis. They think they're protecting the children by not talking about something, but it is still shaking their world as much as the adults.

Sometimes we do a very wrong thing for the very right reasons. Can these siblings find the way back to each other? There is a beacon in the darkness in the form of an elderly stranger named Hammish. One whose knowledge of human nature can help bridge the gaps. We should all be so lucky to know such a person.

The key to unraveling everything is if someone, anyone will just "Ask Him Why" he did what he did. There were times I was reading that I yelled at the book that very thing! Do they ever ask him? You'll have to read the book to find out. Anger definitely holds a person back from many things. Anger at Joseph is like Aubrey's blood, and runs through him deep and strong.

I do like the way this book flowed and the way it ended. It was wrapped in a way that was both touching and realistic. A thought provoking journey through the pages. Being a soldier you do as you are told. What if you make a decision that is against orders? It happens. People can die. This is the story of a family who suffers the consequences of that one decision.

Thank you to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Psychological Analysis of Collateral Damage 29 March 2017
By DalLady - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read several Catherine Ryan Hyde books, and this one is my favorite. Told through the eyes of two teenagers, this book is an excellent psychological analysis of the teenage mind and mental development. Set against the backdrop of the contemporary issues of war, the media, and cultural conflict, the book examines the "collateral damage" of decision-making. A wealthy but fairly dysfunctional family is thrust into the media limelight when their oldest child/step-child must face a court-martial for his decision to disobey orders. The unforeseen collateral damage sweeps not only his military unit but also his family and their future. This book is the thoughtful, artistic landscape of a decision; painted carefully yet dysfunctionally from the edges inward, until it all comes together in the end. The reader is not forced to agree with any political opinion; instead, the author reveals the harsh truths of shared experiences from several different points of view, allowing the characters and the reader to come to grips with the consequences of our shared lives.

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