A 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.
Longlisted for the 2022 Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award
Longlisted for the Goodreads Choice Awards
Book of the Month December Pick
Good Housekeeping Book Club February Pick
Marie Claire Book Club March Pick
Most Anticipated by Elle, Today (according to Goodreads), The Millions, She Reads, and Real Simple
Recommended by Refinery29, Shondaland, Oprah Daily, Washington Post, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Electric Literature, Bookriot, Parade, Harper's Bazaar, and more
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.
I love this book. It is absolutely beautiful.
I love this book and the fact that you’re able to get the perspective of both characters. it reminded me how important it is to find the joy and to attempt to build a life with enough moments of it