In THIS CLOSE TO OKAY by Leesa Cross-Smith, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark spots a man standing precariously on the edge of a bridge, and convinces him not to end his life. She plays music by Wilco and Andrew Bird to ease him down. Brought together by wild chance at the moment they both need it most, Tallie and Emmett spend an emotionally-charged weekend together, opening up to one another, concealing truths from each other, and bonding over art, food, and of course, music. Please enjoy this playlist featuring songs both featured in and inspired by THIS CLOSE TO OKAY, curated by Leesa Cross-Smith.
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