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Colleen Oakley's debut novel Before I Go was a People Best New Book Pick, an Us Weekly 'Must' Pick, a Publisher's Lunch Buzz Book, a Library Journal Big Fiction Debut, and an Indie Next List Pick. Formerly the senior editor of Marie Claire and editor-in-chief of Women's Health & Fitness, Colleen's articles, essays and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies' Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women's Health, Redbook, Parade and Martha Stewart Weddings. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, four kids and the world's biggest lapdog, Bailey. Close Enough to Touch is her second novel.
This truly uplifting, life-affirming treat is at once a whimsical love story, and a funny, thought-provoking meditation on the nature of closeness.Jubilee Jenkins suffers from an excruciating condition. She's allergic to the touch of other humans and has lived alone since her mom remarried. But her hermit's life ends when her mom dies and her stepdad stops the cheques that have been sustaining her. Now forced to earn her own crust, agoraphobic Jubilee faces the outside world for the first time in nine years when she gets a job in a library. It's there she meets Eric, a man with a whole lot of baggage of his own - failed marriage, a daughter who's not speaking to him, and a reclusive adopted son, Aja, who's convinced he has telekinetic powers.Jubilee, Eric and Aja are among my favourite kinds of characters - they're funny, flawed, full of longing, and their respective conditions and quirks (eventually) propel them to experience the fullness of life. Eric and Jubilee's initial encounters are both hilariously awkward and epically life-changing and, in Jubilee, hug-phobic Aja might have met the one person he'll allow to cuddle him. Neatly plotted, and full of heart and humour, this comes highly recommended for fans of "The Rosie Project", Mark Haddon and Matt Haig. ~ Joanne Owen Click here to see Before I Go by the same author.
May 2015 Debut of the Month. A convincing and remarkably readable novel, writing with a lightness of touch, the author balances a tricky tightrope of emotions, keeping the read sparkling with intensity yet crisply sincere. We sit inside Daisy’s thoughts and feelings as she learns she has a cancer that can’t be stopped, we walk through her life and experience her relationships. Daisy feels authentically real, she becomes someone you care about and therefore you feel you have permission to get annoyed with her, to laugh with her, to feel heartfelt sorrow for her. This is a book about relationships, it’s about love and loss, about honesty and mistrust, it encourages you to feel, to think and yet does so with consideration. Yes this is poignant and moving, yes it may make you cry, but don't be intimidated as it’s a surprisingly refreshing and stimulating read. ~ Liz Robinson
A March 2017 Indie Next Pick From the author of Before I Go comes an evocative, poignant, and heartrending exploration of the power and possibilities of the human heart, perfect for fans of the emotional novels of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult.Love has no boundaries... Jubilee Jenkins has a rare condition: shes allergic to human touch. After a nearly fatal accident, she became reclusive, living in the confines of her home for nine years. But after her mother dies, Jubilee is forced to face the worldand the people in itthat shes been hiding from. Jubilee finds safe haven at her local library where she gets a job. Its there she meets Eric Keegan, a divorced man who recently moved to town with his brilliant, troubled, adopted son. Eric is struggling to figure out how to be the dadand manhe wants so desperately to be. Jubilee is unlike anyone he has ever met, yet he can't understand why she keeps him at arm's length. So Eric sets out to convince Jubilee to open herself and her heart to everything life can offer, setting into motion the most unlikely love story of the year.
A heart-wrenching debut novel in the bestselling tradition of P.S. I Love You about a young woman with breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away.Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy already beat breast cancer three years ago. How can this be happening to her again? On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant Cancerversary with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time its an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospectbut not because shes afraid for herself. Shes terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when shes no longer there to take care of him. Its this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife. With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jacks perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisys forced to decide whats more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husbands happinessor her own?