The Ask and the Answer Summary & Study Guide

Patrick Ness
This Study Guide consists of approximately 68 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Ask and the Answer.
This section contains 412 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Ask and the Answer Summary & Study Guide Description

The Ask and the Answer Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness.

The following version of the novel was used to create this study guide: Ness, Patrick. The Ask and the Answer. Candlewick, Oct. 18, 2010. Kindle.

Young heroes Todd Hewitt and Viola Eades learn their love for each other is their strength and not a weakness in the novel The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness. Looking for peace in a new town, they instead run into their old enemy David Prentiss who separates them and tries to get Todd to join his forces. Viola, meanwhile, is influenced by the equally tyrannical Mistress Coyle. When Viola and Todd finally manage to make their way back to each other, they realize that they must overthrow both Prentiss and Mistress Coyle. However, their plans are interrupted by the arrival of a new enemy, one they never anticipated.

Prentiss has Todd interrogated so he can learn the name of the girl with whom Todd was found. He believes she could be helpful to him in making friends with the group of settlers headed for New Prentisstown. The girl in question is a member of the group. Todd finally gives in and tells Prentiss that his friend’s name is Viola. Meanwhile, Viola is recuperating from a gunshot wound at a house of healing. In exchange for her medical treatment, the head healer at that house asks Viola for information about the settler ships as well as any information Viola can glean from Prentiss about his plans.

A tentative peace is developing when Viola and Maddy, an apprentice healer, sneak out the house of healing in an attempt to contact Viola’s people. Maddy is shot in the street by a soldier. In retaliation, the Answer, a group headed by Mistress Coyle begins bombing strategic locations around New Prentisstown. Prentiss answers by tightening rules on the people, and imprisoning and torturing women. Even though Viola believes Mistress Coyle is going about her campaign in the wrong way, Viola agrees to help her cause after she sees the condition of the women whom Prentiss had been holding in his prisons.

Because Todd believes Viola has joined Mistress Coyle’s cause and is lost to him, he serves Prentiss without questioning. It is not until Viola comes to try to rescue Todd from Prentiss that he realizes Viola has not changed. They come to the realization that neither Prentiss or Mistress Coyle is an ideal leader and that they must take things into their own hands.

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