Colleen Oakley is being compared to JoJo Moyes and I have to say I agree. I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. Well developed characters made the story super compelling.
Jubilee Jenkins suffers from an exceedingly rare allergy – she’s allergic to human touch. It is so rare that twenty years earlier, when she was a young child, the New York Times did an in depth piece on her.
She’s had a lot of strife in her life, but things really took a turn for the worse when she turned 18. Her mother married and moved out, leaving Jubilee to fend for herself. She becomes a recluse, and eventually agoraphobic, and for nine years has no contact with anyone, including her mother, other than checks that regularly appear.
Jubilee’s mother passes away and the husband calls to tell her. He also tells her he is not going to be supporting her any longer, but he’s paid off the mortgage of the house she lives in and she also inherited the car. Jubilee finds a job at the library, and eventually meets Eric and Aja.
Aja is a super smart little boy who bonds with Jubilee, and Eric does too. Eric is divorced with a teenage daughter living with her mother in another town and she won’t speak to him. Eric adopted Aja after his parents, Eric’s best friends, died in a tragic accident. The little boy has some issues, to say the least, as does Eric.
All these damaged characters make for an engrossing read, and Oakley does a really fine job of not going the easy route. This book was unputdownable and these characters are going to stay with me for a long while. Highly recommended.
4/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH by Colleen Oakley. Gallery Books (March 7, 2017). ISBN: 978-1501139260. 336p.