This Close to Okay
4 / 5
While reading this one, I became very attached to the main characters, but my emotions were all over the place with their actions. I realize that people deal with grief, sadness, and PTSD in very different ways, but when I closed the book, I wasn’t sure how I felt, and maybe that’s okay.
Driving home one rainy night, Tallie sees a man poised to jump off a bridge. A licensed therapist, Tallie pulls over and talks the man, Emmett, into having a warm cup of coffee with her. Tallie eventually invites Emmett back to her house, the house she shared with her ex-husband.
The rest of the story is an emotional roller coaster as both Tallie and Emmet do this dialogue dance trying to pull information from each other. Both are grieving, both are hurting but for very different reasons. And neither is being completely honest with the other.
I loved aspects of Tallie’s personality. She’s empathetic and caring, but hiding that you’re a therapist to a person who is suicidal doesn’t sit well with me, and bringing a stranger into her home? But Emmet stole my heart. Even in the depth of his pain, he longed to protect Tallie from hers.
Cross-Smith writes poignantly about mental health and losses in life. Although the ending felt a little rushed and a bit disjointed (and didn’t turn out the way I wanted), there is still a very big take-away from this story. It only takes one person to make a difference, one person to reach out and say, “𝐈’𝐦 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞, 𝐈’𝐦 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞.” It doesn’t take the pain away, but it’s a step towards healing.
TW: suicidal ideation, death, loss, grief, divorce, PTSD.
**If you need someone to talk to reach out, please!
My DM is always open or call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255.
This book will be available February 2, 2021.