Review of ‘Ask, Tell’ by EJ Noyes
Audiobook narrated by Abby Craden
Captain Sabine Fleischer is an Army surgeon serving under the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t tell’ (DADT) policy. Things are stale and disconnected from her girlfriend of nine years but nonetheless, Sab is taken aback when Victoria breaks up with her over a letter while Sab is deployed in Afghanistan. This sends her into
a tailspin while only able to confide in her best friend because of DADT. While trying to cope with the loss, Lieutenant Colonel Rebecca Keane, her unit supervisor and platonic crush since meeting a few years back, seems to be interested in Sabine’s wellbeing. Caught in between grief, wanting and rules and regulations, Sabine must keep her feelings buried. That is until an opportunity arises while on leave in the States and opens the door to an entirely new dilemma.
‘Ask, Tell’ was the debut novel by Ms. Noyes. And what a debut it was! Narrated expertly from Sabine’s first person POV, the connection the reader makes with the character is powerful. I will credit this author with my love of first person POV. I have never experienced such a link with a character, no doubt due to the range of emotions she endures throughout the length of this book. What the author now refers to as ‘The Incident’, was truly moving and left me in tears.
The characters in the book are well developed, a great feat since only seen through Sabine’s eyes. Rebecca is sweet and devoted, and I easily became her cheerleader and champion. Best friends Mitch and Amy are just adorable and quirky. Same with Sab’s sister Jana, whose banter with Sabine is endearing and funny. The settings are well described and for the dessert, the imagery left me tasting the dust and feeling the dryness. I could have been a spectator during the unit’s flag football games!
This time around (ok so I’ve read this book a couple, ok a few times), after waiting and waiting, I was able to listen to this story. It so happens that one of my favorite narrators, Abby Craden, was tasked with reading this one. I will admit that Sabine’s voice was a little on the raspy side for my liking, but the first person narration was in a much more soothing voice so I did not mind. It also helps to know that is how Ms. Noyes envisioned it. Another very good narration by Ms. Craden.
Overall a great story and in my opinion, a must-read for lesfic fans. 5+ stars