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
One time a boy kissed me and I almost died...And so begins the story of Jubilee Jenkins, a 28-year-old woman with a unique and debilitating medical condition - she's allergic to other humans. After a humiliating, near-death experience in high school, Jubilee has become reclusive in her adulthood, living the past nine years in the confines of the Victorian house her unaffectionate mother deeded to her when she ran off with a wealthy businessman. But now, her mother is dead, and without her financial support, Jubilee is forced to leave home and face the world - and the people in it - she's been hiding from. One of those people is Eric Keegan, a man who just moved into town for work. With a daughter from his failed marriage no longer speaking to him, and a brilliant, if psychologically troubled, adopted son who believes he has untapped telekinetic powers, Eric's struggling to figure out how his life got so off course, and how to be the dad - and man - he wants so desperately to be. Then, one day, he meets a mysterious woman named Jubilee...
'I absolutely devoured this novel, which took me from laughter to tears in the turn of a page. From its brilliant premise to its wonderful ending, it was gripping, romantic and thought-provoking as it showed how two people can fall for each other without ever being able to hold each other's hand. I absolutely loved it.' -- Katie Marsh author of a Life Without You
'One of the most thought-provoking love stories of the year' Real Simple
'Oakley's sophomore novel is a treat... Fans of Jojo Moyes and rom-coms set within the stacks of libraries will rejoice.' Booklist
'It is easy to get lost in this vividly told story with characters and a fictional malady that are utterly believable. Oakley's second novel should build on the author's popularity and continue comparisons to popular authors such as Jojo Moyes.' Library Journal
'Oakley masterfully creates a high-stakes story that still feels solidly real. All of her characters are well-rounded and charming, especially Jubilee. Readers will cheer each time she takes a risk and delight in her triumphs. A romantic, sweet story about taking chances and living life fully.' Kirkus Reviews
Publication date: 06/07/2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
|Publication date:||6th July 2017|
|Publisher:||Allen & Unwin|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
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.More About Colleen Oakley