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To Katie, her love for John F. Kennedy was her whole world, even though he never heard of her. Anyone who harmed him would have to answer to Katie. It would not be pleasant. And when someone does, her revenge would consume her spirit and drive her in madness to Dallas. Will she succeed in destroying Oswald? Ask Not.
Mary Margaret Schmidt delivers a captivating historical thriller of a family lost in dysfunction, trauma and acts of madness during the time of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, in her poignant and entertaining novel, Ask Not.
The only attractive aspect of being accepted to St. Ethel’s Academy for Michelle is the prospect of leaving her traumatizing home environment. Still, the school is not the haven Michelle was wishing for. And meanwhile, her parents remain oblivious to her suffering. Not finding a place to turn to, Michelle decides to find another escape. Her mother, Katie Casey, continues obsessing over John F. Kennedy. After his assassination Katie is completely distraught and infuriated and foolishly sets out to avenge his death.
Mary Margaret Schmidt skillfully threads complex topics into the intriguing narrative through the main characters’ compelling and interesting backgrounds. Katie struggles with undiagnosed mental illness and her husband carries trauma from his childhood as well. So there is a lot of tension in the air as they try to navigate their relationship and lives. The novel creates believable and relatable family dynamics through Katie and her sister’s estranged relationship and their other family experiences and this cleverly provides readers with a very absorbing and relatable reading experience. Other characters are multidimensional and their thought-provoking relationships with the main characters are included which adds a richness and stimulating aspect to the story. The novel paints striking images of Michelle’s difficult experiences at school and at home through her daunting diary entries which describe with detail the horrifying and painful experiences she must continue to endure and live through. The entries and the descriptions in themselves make her feelings throughout the story feel very real and intense. The story creatively includes real factual historical events of the 60’s with important and major historical figures such as the president’s assassination which adds realism, fascination and interest to the novel. The plot becomes even more fascinating and its pace quickens as Katie travels to execute her insane plan. Her family searches for her amid the confusion caused by the president’s death. Vivid descriptions of Katie’s challenging background are brought to the forefront of the story during her disappearance. Mary Margaret Schmidt writes with intellectual and creative skill as she carefully interweaves Katie’s riveting and miserable past with her current course of actions and brings the story to a gripping conclusion.
Mary Margaret Schmidt’s crime novel, Ask Not, is an intriguing story that brilliantly portrays and explores difficult and relevant topics about trauma and mental health. Chick Lit Café recommends Ask Not by Mary Margaret Schmidt to all fans of suspense and historical thrillers. The themes and story ideas will resonate with all readers and they will find the novel’s fascinating characters, moving scenes and historical facts extremely interesting and memorable, fully engaging and very entertaining. Book Reviewed by Edith Emunah for CLC Book Reviews, Promotion & Author Spotlight Marketing.
Buy Ask Not by Mary Margaret SchmidtWinner – First place
CLC Book Excellence Award
for best “historical crime suspense & thriller.”
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