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Check It Out: This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith

This is Sarah Enright, with the Sioux City Public Library, and you’re listening to Check It Out. 


Today, I am recommending, This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith, the moving story of two strangers brought together on the same bridge one rainy, October night in Kentucky. Tallie Clark a 40-year-old recently divorced therapist, instinctively stops her car when she spots the man she comes to know as Emmet, on the wrong side of the bridge railing. Looking as though he may jump, Tallie decides she must do whatever she can to get and keep him away from the edge. After a brief exchange, he reluctantly takes her hand and agrees to have coffee with her. As Tallie methodically chooses to hide parts of herself from Emmet for fear that she’ll scare him away, she simultaneously tries to pry as much information as she can from this quiet, mysterious man.


With nowhere else to go, Tallie brings Emmet home with her. Over the course of the weekend they carefully navigate the space and time they are now sharing, each trying to decipher the other. As a result, each are forced to grapple with their own inner conflicts that begin to surface.


The uniqueness of the storyline and vulnerable nature of the characters hooked me instantly and left me aching to know how the story would end. I was enamored with the fateful connection made between two fragmented strangers. Despite their individual battles with deceit, loneliness, grief, and heartache in their pasts, once brought together, they were able to discover hope in their own ways. I became intertwined in their lives and will not soon forget the impact this story had on me and will carry the profound messages I took from it for a very long time.


Find This Close to Okay and more poignant works of fiction like it at the Sioux City Public Library. 


Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Avery Brothers.