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This Close to Okay

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  19,761 ratings  ·  3,031 reviews
Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9781538715376

From the award-winning Southern writer who Roxane Gay calls "a consummate storyteller" comes a cathartic novel about the life-changing weekend shared between two strangers: a therapist and the man she prevents from ending his life.

On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by Grand Central Publishing
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Featured Notes & Highlights
Leesa - author, fiction, romance

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Marissa Marlborough A few, but not enough that stood out. Trigger warnings for the book are much more prevalent themes than swearing: depression, suicide, infertility, de…moreA few, but not enough that stood out. Trigger warnings for the book are much more prevalent themes than swearing: depression, suicide, infertility, death. Which was part of a beautiful story but definitely heavy for someone young (less)
Kevin Bistre Its available in Audible. The actors are the age of the book's characters, so the lingo sounds appropriate. Highly recommended! …moreIts available in Audible. The actors are the age of the book's characters, so the lingo sounds appropriate. Highly recommended! (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  19,761 ratings  ·  3,031 reviews

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Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: mine
FIVE FLASHING GOLD STARS BC I THOUGHT IT, I SOLD IT, I WROTE IT, I LOVE IT. This is my second novel, my fourth book.
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I really love stories about two strangers coming together to help one another heal and form a unique connection through their journey. While the writing is lovely, I think the ending could have been stronger if executed differently, and I often found the dialogue between the characters to be very much like a personal Q&A, and thus a way for the characters to learn intimate details about each other quickly and easily. If you love the card game “We’re Not Really Strangers” you would probably enjoy ...more
Lisa of Troy
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was ok
Tallie finds a man poised to jump from a bridge. She coaxes him into her car, and they share a cup of coffee. She discovers that his name is Emmett, and they share the weekend together. Emmett isn't the only one with secrets to discover like what led him to the the bridge. Tallie is a therapist who is still reeling from her divorce.

This book started out strong and quirky- I loved the references to Law and Order SVU and cats. Check. Check. HOWEVER, I have actually been to therapy. Shocking, I kno
Michael David (on hiatus)

December BOTM selection.

Tallie Clark, a therapist who is recently divorced, is driving home from work one cold and rainy fall evening when she sees a man standing on the wrong side of a bridge railing. After some persuading, she convinces him to leave the bridge and chat with her over a cup of coffee. His name is Emmett, and while he is a man of little words, she quickly learns he doesn’t feel like he has anywhere to go. Tallie brings him to her home. (I know, I know...bu
chan ☆
Oct 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
i'm sure there's an alternate universe where a different version of this book exists... insightful, subtle, heartbreaking. sadly we're in this reality, and we're left with this version.

whenever i pick up books outside of my usual genres i try to view them from the lens of "who is the audience for this book?" whenever i can tell something isn't going to be for me. and all too often, i leave a book with that question unanswered. because... who is this book for? not someone seeking a romance. not s
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing

My emotions are everywhere! I cried! I hurt! I cared a lot ( not like Rosamund Pike cared about elder people in her last movie) I smiled! I hiccuped! I sobbed! But at the end I breathed in and out! I closed my eyes and thanked for important things define my life!

Tallie and Emmett are well constructed, genuine, realistic characters you deeply and easily get connected with!

Tallie Clark is a therapist, 40, suffering from failed IVF attempts through the years,
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounded up

Well, this book was exactly what I needed to close out my January. I was on the struggle bus with pretty much everything I read. I can't even remember the last time I was in a reading slump, but this broke through that. I'm new to Leesa Cross-Smith, but something told me to check this story out. I had no idea what I was in for. Her writing is fantastic. It was so soothing and contemplative and therapeutic. There were very big themes discussed (suicide, grief, etc.), but it was neve
Jenny Lawson
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I kept putting off this book because it's got a lot of suicide talk in it and I'm easily pulled into the darkness but I'd heard wonderful things about it (the book...not suicide) and felt mentally strong today so I read it and it was exactly as good as I'd been told. ...more
mina reads™️
Dnf @ page 52

No offense but uhhhh what???
Whitney Erwin
Apr 12, 2022 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded to 4. Overall, I found this book to be mostly enjoyable. It is very emotional and gives you all sorts of feelings! Tallie and Emmett are both lovable, fantastic characters. My only con is that around the middle of the book, it seemed to drag on a little bit. This book could be very triggering for some as it deals heavily with suicide.
Kate Niestrom
Dec 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: botm-picks
It's been a long time since I've actually considered abandoning a book. I've disliked many books over the years, but rarely do I ever think of giving up. "This Close to Okay" was an exception.

First off, it's bleak, but that's not why I didn't like it. On a cold, rainy night, therapist Tallulah "Tallie" stops mysterious Emmett from jumping off a bridge. She coaxes him into her car, drives him home and allows him to stay with her until he feels stable. He doesn't offer much information up about h
This is...an extremely apt title.

This book was THIS CLOSE to being okay. Not good. Not great. But okay.

Didn't quite get there, though.

This is, ostensibly, a love story (or at least a sex story) between two deeply f*cked up individuals, a man who has just attempted suicide and the older therapist who saved him (and is also pretending she is not a therapist), and then also (view spoiler)
Tallie Clark is a 40-year old therapist with her own practice in Kentucky. She’s recently divorced after a 10-year marriage to a man she thought she’d be with the rest of her life. But Joel is remarried to the woman he cheated on her with and they have the baby she thought they’d have together.

One rainy Thursday evening as she’s crossing the bridge over the Ohio River, she sees a man climb over the railing, clearly preparing to jump. She gets his attention and convinces him to stop and join her
Larry H
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Wow. Leesa Cross-Smith's upcoming novel, This Close to Okay , is so emotional and thought-provoking.

One rainy October night therapist Tallie Clark is driving home from work when she sees a man standing on a bridge, looking ready to jump. She gets out of her car and runs to the man, begging him not to jump. Miraculously, she is able to get him to come down and he agrees to go with her to get some coffee and perhaps talk about his feelings.

After coffee, the man agrees to come back to Tallie’s h
Jul 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review posted on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well, you might find
You get what you need
- The Rolling Stones, Let it Bleed, 1969

The Day Tallie Clark drives by a bridge and sees a man standing on it precariously, her senses tell her to take action. Stopping the car, she immediately rushes to his side. The fact that it’s pouring rain doesn’t phase he
All these feels... I am wrecked and uplifted all in one.

Shortest Summary Ever: Psychologist Tallie is driving across the bridge and suddenly stops when she sees a man about to jump. Talking him down, she offers him a ride... the story evolves from there as Tallie befriends Emmett...

Thoughts: Man did this author crack open MY bag of feels. And I’m not a “feely” girl - I’m bad ass! I’m not crying... YOU’RE crying! That’s my face to the world. My TRUE face is one of struggle, years long with severa
Bryn Greenwood
This is coming in February, with a blurb from me. I recommend, especially if you need something to heal your heart.
Jun 01, 2022 rated it it was ok
Therapists do not sound like this
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Well son of a shit ball! I thought this was going to be something different. It wasn’t much for me but it might be more for you 😉

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Dec 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
No to the Jesus crap. If you want to sell Christian fiction, put a warning label on it.

I tried to choke that down and get into the story, but the characterization is unbelievably bad. What is it with BOTM and shitty "therapist" characters? Don't even get me started on "lesbian half the time."

This is a crappy book, even if you're into the religious garbage.
Joshue Lemus
Dec 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
DNF at 30.

I seriously regret wasting my BOTM on this book. Immediately, the characterization of Tallie is TERRIBLE. She’s incredibly judgmental towards a man who was just about to commit suicide, goes through his personal things, and invites him into her home a couple hours after just meeting him.

At age 40, I’d expect Tallie to be more respectful, mature, and professional... she’s literally the opposite. Her thoughts read like a teenagers’, they’re very dramatic and immature. Can’t stand it. C
Kate Jordhamo
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this, and was excited to read it based on the premise.

The character development seemed to fall apart throughout the book — the decisions the characters made were sometimes bizarre and unexplainable. The last quarter of the book really felt apart for me from a storytelling perspective, as well.

It also felt like it was trying to do too much, touch on too many issues, and the ball was dropped several times. I was especially irked with how the book dealt with mental health / suicid
Claude's Bookzone (semi hiatus)
1.5 Stars rounded up to 2

I gotta say, it's hard to enjoy a book when you detest the main character.

Tallie and Emmett were really difficult to like because their behaviour was a mix of inappropriate, unprofessional, unacceptable and invasive. I probably should have dnf'd at 4% when I could tell I would find Tallie a tad annoying but I pushed through. I went in expecting a more moving story but alas this was not the case.

CW: Suicide and depression (view spoiler)
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
I reviewed Leesa Cross-Smith’s book of short stories last year and LOVED it, and it’s possible I loved this heartfelt novel even more.

Roxane Gay has described Cross-Smith as a consummate storyteller, and that is precisely who she is. This Close to Okay is powerful and bold, with rich storytelling, and characters to champion.

Also, big kudos to the author for how she addresses mental health.

I received a gifted copy.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
"And now, the continuing story of a former orthopedic surgeon who's gone to the dogs."

Wait, scratch that, this is not an old-school Muppets sketch, just the continuation of my Book of the Month (BotM) adventure.

This was my second selection for December 2020.

Full disclosure, I am a mental health provider who specializes in suicide prevention, so I should have known better than to read this.

Therapy is rarely presented accurately in works of fiction (with some notable exceptions, like Sopranos, Te
Feb 04, 2021 rated it did not like it
You know I hated something when I spam Goodreads with reading updates.

Nothing about this was good.

Except maybe the first chapter. The first chapter really tricked me into thinking I might enjoy this.

The pacing was so off. Sometimes nothing was happening for ages and then we would get revelation after revelation on a single page.

The dialogue was just meaningless. Sometimes they just talked and talked without saying anything at all. If I want to hear someone speak for an hour without saying anythi
Elyse Walters
Thought provoking, emotional, relatable and authentic characters.....
are fitting words to describe this story.
It was a pleasant surprise.

I was engaged from start to finish (with varying thoughts about the story and my own thoughts about why I enjoyed it as much as I did).
Truth be told.... living inside this AUDIOBOOK for 9 hours and 46 minutes, [read by Kamali Minter, and Zeno Robinson],
was the right amount of easy listening with interesting ‘brain-comfort’ substance as a steamy bowl of tomato
Jennifer Blankfein
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Couldn’t put this book down! Kindness can save a life and the author tells us a wonderful story of secrets and lies and well meaning characters who serendipitously come together and help each other.
Two strangers meet by chance, put just enough trust in one another to share bits of their past, spend one intense weekend together and end up saving each other… what’s not to love? This Close To Okay by Leesa Cross- Smith kept me engrossed from beginning to end and was enjoyed by all in my book club.
Kezia Duah
Nov 27, 2021 rated it liked it
This was alright. I get the feeling this was supposed to hit me in my feelings, but it didn’t really connect with me. I was wondering how long the characters were just going to lie to each other and do things behind their backs. In the end it all worked out.
Reading_ Tamishly
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
Love the writing. But plot wise and character wise, I just cannot wrap my head around this. I mean this one is quite problematic. Like seriously!

*Taking my time to calm down. Let's see if I write more on this book.

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Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and writer from Kentucky. She is the author of HALF-BLOWN ROSE, THIS CLOSE TO OKAY, SO WE CAN GLOW, WHISKEY & RIBBONS, EVERY KISS A WAR, and the forthcoming GOODBYE EARL. HALF-BLOWN ROSE was the Amazon Editors’ Spotlight for June 2022, the inaugural pick for Amazon’s Editorial Director Sarah Gelman’s Book Club Sarah Selects, and the Barnes & Noble Book Club Pick fo ...more

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