Title: Close Enough to Touch
Author: Colleen Oakley
Publisher: Allen & Unwin UK
Love has no boundaries…
Jubilee Jenkins has a rare condition: she’s allergic to human touch. After a nearly fatal accident, she became reclusive, living in the confines of her home for nine years. But after her mother dies, Jubilee is forced to face the world—and the people in it—that she’s been hiding from.
Jubilee finds safe haven at her local library where she gets a job. It’s there she meets Eric Keegan, a divorced man who recently moved to town with his brilliant, troubled, adopted son. Eric is struggling to figure out how to be the dad—and man—he wants so desperately to be. Jubilee is unlike anyone he has ever met, yet he can’t understand why she keeps him at arm’s length. So Eric sets out to convince Jubilee to open herself and her heart to everything life can offer, setting into motion the most unlikely love story of the year.
Close Enough To Touch is a wonderful, touching story that ticked all the right boxes for me.
Filled with wonderful characters – I LOVE Jubilee, Eric, and Aja, who are amazing characters each in their own (very different) ways – the novel uses these vibrant people to address some slightly heavier subjects, all with the perfect level of information and humour. The characters each have their own problems and struggles to deal with, but reading about the way they handle them is both amusing at times and also very touching. The budding relationships between them are convincing and fantastic to read about; I found myself relishing every page and appreciating how Colleen Oakley manages to make us really care about the people within the novel without having to include any overly cheesy or ‘forced’ emotions – the thoughts and feelings in this book feel very real and convincing and I for one found myself completely absorbed in their lives.
There are parts of this novel that made me laugh out loud – particularly Eric’s best attempts to try and be a ‘good parent’ to Aja – and some which are slightly less believable (it is fiction, after all!), but either way I felt myself completely falling in love with Colleen Oakley’s writing style, which I hope to see a lot more of in the future!
I finished Close Enough To Touch feeling both satisfied and emotional. A fantastic read, and one of my favourite books this year!
Many thanks to the publisher, Allen & Unwin UK, for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.