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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