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This Close to Okay

by Cross-Smith, Leesa

Format: Kindle Book 2021
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BOOK OF THE MONTH DECEMBER PICK * GOOD HOUSEKEEPING BOOK CLUB FEBRUARY PICK * ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2021 BY ELLE, TODAY (ACCORDING TO GOODREADS),THE MILLIONS, AND REAL SIMPLE * RECOMMENDED BY REFINERY29, MARIE CLAIRE, GLAMOUR, ELECTRIC LITERATURE, AND MOREA powerful, vibrant novel about the life-changing weekend shared between two strangers, from the award-winning writer Roxane Gay calls "a consummate storyteller."On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing at the edge of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett. Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe space for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. What she doesn't realize is that Emmett isn't the only one who needs healing—and they both are harboring secrets.Alternating between Tallie and Emmett's perspectives as they inch closer to the truth of what brought Emmett to the bridge's edge—as well as the hard truths Tallie has been grappling with since her marriage ended—This Close to Okay is an uplifting, cathartic story about chance encounters, hope found in unlikely moments, and the subtle magic of human connection.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In her second novel, Cross-Smith (Whiskey & Ribbons, 2018) once again shows adeptness at exploring the range of human emotions, particularly the fragility of relationships in the wake of tragedy. Having a difficult time moving on after her recent divorce, Tallie makes a rash decision when she spots a man looking like he is about to jump from a bridge. She convinces Emmett to come with her instead, eventually spending the weekend. Tallie doesn't tell him she's a therapist, for fear that he will think she sees him as a project, but Emmett is hiding even bigger secrets that are hinted at during chapters from his POV. Tallie is suspicious of Emmett but also drawn to him; they seem to be just what each other needs at that moment. The weekend turns into a fairly rote new-love story, even with the added suspense that Emmett is hiding something terrible and possibly terrifying. But Cross-Smith is no fan of fairytales, offering twists that keep the novel interesting and realistic. A page-turning pleaser with a heroine to love."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Cross-Smith (So We Can Glow) explores fragility, grief, and the effects of mental illness in this wonderfully strange novel about new love between broken people. Tallie Clark is a divorced, childless therapist who sees a man about to jump from a bridge on her way home one night. She pulls over and talks him into joining her for a cup of coffee, then invites the man, who goes only by Emmett, to stay at her house. In the days that follow, Tallie and Emmett learn about each other's divorces and the deaths, infidelities, and heartaches that have shaped their lives. All the while, Cross-Smith builds suspense by gradually alluding to each character's ulterior motives as Tallie neglects to tell Emmett she's a therapist, and Emmett emails Tallie's ex-husband to get her the answers he thinks she needs. Alternating between Tallie and Emmett's perspectives, the narrative cannily inhabits a space where Tallie calls danger a "frothing aphrodisiac," and the two characters at times learn, or fail, to cope with sorrow and depression. As dark and tense as it is flirty and humorous, this moving novel offers consistent surprises. Agent: Kerry D'Agostino, Curtis Brown. (Feb.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Literature
African American Fiction
Publisher Grand Central Publishing2021
Language English
ISBN 9781538720745