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This Close to Okay

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  10,502 ratings  ·  1,842 reviews
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 from work when she spots a man precariously s
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by Grand Central Publishing
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Deby There is some, but not a whole lot. Some sexual situations, too.
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)

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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,502 ratings  ·  1,842 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
Michael David
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
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???
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,
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
Bryn Greenwood
This is coming in February, with a blurb from me. I recommend, especially if you need something to heal your heart.
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 🖤🐶🐺🐾
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
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
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
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:
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.
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
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
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.

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.
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leesa Cross-Smith has written an intensely moving story about two strangers who meet under odd circumstances at just the right time for both of them. It’s a chance meeting that will change both of their lives in ways they both desperately need. These two couldn’t be any more different, but at that moment, they are two souls who need the acceptance each can offer. I literally read this book in one sitting; I could not put it down. Smith’s writing style was easy to follow, and I felt her character ...more
Jan 14, 2021 rated it did not like it
"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
Mar 08, 2021 rated it did not like it
The first chapter features some of the worst dialogue you will ever read. It’s an important flaw, given the entire book hinges on us believing the circumstances of the first chapter. Our MC, a therapist, seems very poor at her job, switching from casual questions to personal inquiries, from flustered attempts at intimacy to methods straight out of TV Therapist 101. Which is fine if it is part of the narrative—"yes, I’m a therapist but this is so much pressure and I’m not sure if I’m doing it rig ...more
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
Eva K (journeyofthepages)
This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith is an important story that touches on a number of really relevant topics in mental health. I believe this story of two strangers finding a way to help one another is well told with solid character development and steady intrigue. 

First, this story takes place in October in Kentucky, so the Autumnal vibes and Halloween themes were all over this one. If you're lining up Autumn reads and want some that aren't scary, add this to your tbr! 

This story is intimat
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
❤️ Perfect start to the year.
Feb 06, 2021 marked it as to-read
I hope it is not similar to normal people.
Apr 21, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
I'm rating this a whole two stars (instead of just one) simply because (view spoiler) Brilliant decision from the author IMO.

Licensed therapist Tallie makes several unprofessional and unethical choices in This Close to Okay, and male lead Emmett (though I don't believe he should be held to the same standards as a mental health professional) was frustrating sometimes too. Huuuuge lack of boundaries and common decency on both sides.

I can forgi
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
OMG, I have to gather my emotions. I felt every emotion I can feel. Wow, the sweetest heartwarming book I ever read. Strangers come into each other's lives and help each other work on things they couldn't let go amongst themselves. All it takes is a stranger to come into one's life and give hope you never know what a person is deeply going through inside. I cried it was so moving and touching in every way possible. A powerful read you can’t help but love the characters I enjoyed following their ...more
Renée | Book Girl Magic
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book broke me!! 😭😭 I sat on my couch for at least an hour afterwards processing this book and the rollercoaster of emotions it took me through. Another well written piece by Leesa Cross-Smith. I found myself wiping tears from the last bit of the book. I really grew to love the main characters Tallie and Emmett/Rye. Especially Rye. I related to Tallie on a major level, being a divorced woman myself and trying to deal with a pain similar to hers, but I had a definite weak spot for Rye. The wh ...more
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Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and writer from Kentucky. She is the author of THIS CLOSE TO OKAY, SO WE CAN GLOW, WHISKEY & RIBBONS, EVERY KISS A WAR, and the forthcoming novel HALF-BLOWN ROSE from Grand Central Publishing. THIS CLOSE TO OKAY was a Book of the Month Early Release Pick for December 2020, the Good Housekeeping Book Club Pick for February 2021 and the Marie Claire Book Club Pick fo ...more

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