From the award-winning author of This Close to Okay comes the irresistible story of a woman remaking her life after her husband’s betrayal leads to a year of travel, art, and passion in Paris.

Vincent, having grown up the privileged daughter of artists, has a life that is lovely in many ways. At forty-four, she enjoys strolling the streets of Paris and teaching at the modern art museum; she has a vibrant group of friends; and she’s even caught the eye of a young, charismatic man named Loup. But Vincent is also in Paris to escape a painful betrayal: her husband, Cillian, has published a bestselling book divulging secrets about his past and their marriage, including the fact that when he was a teenager, he may have had a child with a young woman back in Dublin—before his family moved to California and never returned.

Now estranged, Vincent has agreed to see Cillian again at their son’s wedding the following summer, but Loup introduces new complications. Soon they begin an intense affair, and somewhere between dinners made together, hazy evenings in nightclubs where Loup’s band plays, and long, starry walks along the Seine, Vincent feels herself blossoming. Filled with playlists, travel journal entries, and excerpts from Cillian’s novel, Half-Blown Rose traverses Paris, liminal spaces, and the messy complexities of relationships. As Cillian does all he can to win her back, Vincent must decide what she wants . . . and who she will be.

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

“Leesa Cross-Smith’s richly vivid prose pulls you in and transports you to Paris. Sharp-edged and sexy, Half-Blown Rose is an utterly intoxicating story of love, betrayal, and loyalty.”
 —Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising
“By far the most exhilarating and sexy American-in-Paris story I’ve ever read. Leesa Cross-Smith’s Half-Blown Rose is smart, intriguing, and pure delight.”
 —Lily King, New York Times bestselling author of Writers & Lovers
"Leesa Cross-Smith is a consummate storyteller."—Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author
This Close to Okay hits the ground running. Cross-Smith writes tenderly about the trial and error of intimacy and draws you in with enormous warmth and control.”—Raven Leilani, New York Times bestselling author of Luster
"Leesa Cross-Smith writes the way many people wish they could: ferociously, tenderly, and with a tremendous amount of heart."—Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things (on So We Can Glow)
“Leesa Cross-Smith has written a book to help us through these bleak and confusing times. This Close to Okay is a story of loneliness and wrenching loss, perfectly counterbalanced by the compassion of strangers and the love of family. This book is a hand-knitted sweater in the middle of a cold winter night.”—Bryn Greenwood, New York Times bestselling author of The Reckless Oath We Made
"This Close to Okay is the kind of novel that allows the reader to slip into a world rich with both comforts and troubles. The story of Emmett and Tallie is delicious, romantic, cozy, and satisfying, and it's also mysterious, unstable, and loaded with loss. This book opens up hard emotions and truths, but it also offers moments of relief and attention to the sustaining pleasures of life."—Naima Coster, New York Times bestselling author of What's Mine and Yours
"Leesa Cross-Smith is a wonderful storyteller."—Alexia Arthurs, award-winning author of How to Love a Jamaican
"Leesa Cross-Smith is some sort of sorceress."—Rion Amilcar Scott, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize-winning author of Insurrections and The World Doesn't Require You
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