One of the lovely things about spending time with my parents in Spain was getting to sit down in the sun with a good book or two. It was so relaxing, and I’d taken some cracking books with me to read. When I read the blurb for Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley, it said fans of JoJo Moyes would enjoy reading it. That was a good start.
Published through Atlantic Books last month, Close Enough to Touch is a book that I found hard to put down. Imagine having a medical condition which means you are allergic to humans, that contact with them could kill you. Imagine not being able to hold someone’s hand, to hug someone, to kiss someone. Well that is the reality for 28-year-old Jubilee Jenkins.
A boy kissed her at school for a dare and it nearly killed her, and turned her into a recluse. She hadn’t left the house for nine years. In that time her mother had met a new partner and left her alone, sending her money to pay the bills. Jubilee soon discovers that she has no need to leave the house, that through the internet, she can live from the comfort of her sofa and avoid all contact with the outside world. That is, until her mother unexpectedly dies. Jubilee can’t make herself leave the safety of her home to go to the funeral, but when her step father tells her that he will no longer fund her living expenses, she knows that things have to change.
So begins Jubilee’s battle to face the outside world and her demons. A chance meeting with someone from school called Madison catapults her into a job at the local library. Not only does she have to interact with strangers and colleagues but she makes an unlikely connection with a boy called Aja and his adoptive Dad Eric.
All three of them have things to discover about themselves and we follow them on their journey as their lives become intertwined. As you read Close Enough to Touch you become aware that Jubilee and Eric are falling in love, and read on as they start to realise their feelings and work through how they can be together without putting her life in danger.
There are some twists and turns and things don’t run smoothly, the ending is unexpected but rather lovely. It’s not a book that I sobbed over, but I was willing the various characters to sort themselves out and find a way to happier times. I’d certainly recommend it and my Amazon Affiliate link is below.
disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review