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Publisher's Summary

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.

Book of the Month December Pick

Good Housekeeping Book Club February Pick

Marie Claire Book Club March Pick

Most Anticipated by ElleToday (according to Goodreads), The MillionsShe Reads, and Real Simple

Recommended by Refinery29, Shondaland, Oprah Daily, Washington PostGlamourCosmopolitanElectric LiteratureBookriotParadeHarper's Bazaar, and more

©2021 Leesa Cross-Smith (P)2021 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"One of those rare feel-good novels that also crackles with wisdom, This Close to Okay introduces readers to two characters who will come to feel like cherished friends.... Over the course of a single weekend, their many conversations on love, loss, grief, and joy coalesce into a primer on human goodness.” (Elle)

“Leesa Cross-Smith’s This Close to Okay navigates difficult subjects with great tenderness and the beautiful, emotionally rich language she’s known for. By turns heartbreaking, charming, surprising and funny, Cross-Smith deftly explores what it means to be okay in the face of what life hands us.” (Elizabeth Crane, author of The History of Great Things

"An emotional, uplifting tale of hope, chosen family, and the healing power of human connection, especially at the moments when we’re most determined to be alone.” (Good Housekeeping)

What listeners say about This Close to Okay

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Religious & Sappy

I listened to just over half of this novel before returning if. First off, this book should be classified as Christian Fiction for sure, and that’s not a genre I can get into. Beyond the problem I had with the religious overtones, I found the entire premise of this tale completely far-fetched as well. I didn’t find the actions or motivations of either of the two main characters anywhere near realistic and it was a sappy & trite play for sympathy from the reader at every turn. Save your money on this one.

10 people found this helpful

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A good enough easy read (but TW: suicide)

At first, I was concerned about the overt religious references and did not want to keep going if it would continue. It did, but not at a high frequency. It just felt like it didn't fit. The story itself ks quite intetesting and the alternating narration works well. The end is a bit messy and inexplicable.

4 people found this helpful

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heart-warming

This is my first time writing a review and this book deserves it. 5 stars all the way!

4 people found this helpful

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This close to being a good book....

Overall i will say that i did enjoy listening to this book. The performances by the 2 narrators was well done an I liked the dialog betwixt the 2 main character's and I loved the relationship they built and got swept up into the love they were building for each other. All this being said Im the kind of person that if the book diesnt end well it completely RUINS the whole experience for me. Slight spoiler ahead.
I just cant begin to understand why the author would spend the ENTIRE BOOK making us fall in love with the idea of them being together just to have her end up getting together with some buster that we the audience arent emotionally invest in AT ALL. Meanwhile the guy that she SHOULD have gotten with is deep n the friend zone an she acts like they jus ben friends an didnt build a deep bond and are emotionally connected WAY beyond friendship. booooo

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyed it

Great story line and the different narrators gave it a good twist. looking foward to more like this.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting

Sometimes it felt contrived but still very interesting and different plot. I enjoyed it. Not sure how I feel about the ending.

1 person found this helpful

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Wasn't What I Expected!!!

I personally loved the storyline. Kept me engaged,the narrator was good also. Look forward to more reads/listens by this author.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyed with a few reservations

I enjoyed this book but there were a few things that turned me off a little. First & probably my main gripe is the female narrator. Her voice is very nice and if I heard her on another book, I'd have no complaints. But she read this 40yr old therapist like a 16 year old girl. Some parts, she truly sounded like a kid & that made it difficult to believe in the character. My other gripe is about Tali being a 40 yr old therapist but making childish comments out loud or to herself. And also the whole Facebook stalking thing...and I'm supposed to believe she's a rational professional person? idk. some things with Tali made it hard to see her as a well educated adult. Other than that, the book was nice & touched on a lot of things. The kindess shown in this book is really it's saving grace.

1 person found this helpful

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Hopeful Story

It is a nice perspective on grief, mental health and hope! Kind of lost interest at the last 25 minutes but the ending came full circle

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Pleasing and emotionally realistic

At first I thought this would be a hokey Hollywood infused love story. It wasn’t. There are several emotional pits but they are also fits of real emotions. I was thoroughly engrossed in the story line. I would recommend binging on a rainy weekend. It seems to flow with the storyline which will dump you into the fullness of a bright and sunshiny day!

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  • Tsitsi Mhene
  • 11-06-21

Slow start

The story had a slow build up and only really got my attention half way through. I would consider this less of a mystery and more character driven study.

There were a lot of social issues that were brought up but not developed enough. The narration was sometimes preachy and relied on too many tropes.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-09-21

Great book

It’s one of those that makes you feel grateful for your life. Terrible things happen to the nicest people and shows us how resilient we are.

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  • Sarah Cubitt
  • 05-22-21

wonderful!

I absolutely adored this beautiful story. Covers extremely important topics, written beautifully and with a feeling of security and cosiness. one of my books of the year undoubtedly.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-21

Some hope during these crazy times.

This book takes you on an emotional journey, but a good one. Leesa really captures the characters well and it’s nice to see their layers and personal stories unfold as the book goes on. It makes me think about the impact that we can have on people’s lives, no matter how big or small, and that we never truly know the weight that people may be carrying.