In her second novel, Cross-Smith once again shows adeptness at exploring the range of human emotions, particularly the fragility of relationships in the wake of tragedy ... he weekend turns into a fairly rote new-love story, even with the added suspense that Emmett is hiding something terrible and possibly terrifying. But Cross-Smith is no fan of fairytales, offering twists that keep the novel interesting and realistic. A page-turning pleaser with a heroine to love.
... a cozy novel, one that embodies the concept of 'hygge' that Tallie strives to create in her own home. It’s full of soft couches and comfort food, easy conversations and growing friendships. But it’s also a challenging novel, especially once Emmett’s history is revealed. This tragic story is linked to bigger issues, such as racism and class privilege; those elements, along with the ethical concerns raised by both Emmett and Tallie’s actions, make the novel rich for discussion ... a timely, thoughtful bit of hope in tough times.
Cross-Smith places mental health at the heart of this story, bringing attention to the importance of asking for help when navigating the complicated twists and turns of life. This Close to Okay is a fast-moving, drama-filled roller coaster that will keep you guessing about how things will turn out for these two lost souls.