Close Enough to TouchColleen Oakley
6 July 2017
Published by Allen & Unwin
7 March 2017
Published by Allen & Unwin
One time a boy kissed me and I almost died…
And so begins the story of Jubilee Jenkins, a 28-year-old woman with a unique and debilitating medical condition – she’s allergic to other humans. After a humiliating, near-death experience in high school, Jubilee has become reclusive in her adulthood, living the past nine years in the confines of the Victorian house her unaffectionate mother deeded to her when she ran off with a wealthy businessman. But now, her mother is dead, and without her financial support, Jubilee is forced to leave home and face the world – and the people in it – she’s been hiding from.
One of those people is Eric Keegan, a man who just moved into town for work. With a daughter from his failed marriage no longer speaking to him, and a brilliant, if psychologically troubled, adopted son who believes he has untapped telekinetic powers, Eric’s struggling to figure out how his life got so off course, and how to be the dad – and man – he wants so desperately to be. Then, one day, he meets a mysterious woman named Jubilee…
I absolutely devoured this novel, which took me from laughter to tears in the turn of a page. From its brilliant premise to its wonderful ending, it was gripping, romantic and thought-provoking as it showed how two people can fall for each other without ever being able to hold each other's hand. I absolutely loved it.Katie Marsh author of A LIFE WITHOUT YOU
A touching and often comedic tale of fitting in.
One of the most thought-provoking love stories of the year
Oakley's sophomore novel is a treat... Fans of Jojo Moyes and rom-coms set within the stacks of libraries will rejoice.
It is easy to get lost in this vividly told story with characters and a fictional malady that are utterly believable. Oakley's second novel should build on the author's popularity and continue comparisons to popular authors such as Jojo Moyes.
Oakley masterfully creates a high-stakes story that still feels solidly real. All of her characters are well-rounded and charming, especially Jubilee. Readers will cheer each time she takes a risk and delight in her triumphs. A romantic, sweet story about taking chances and living life fully.
It's so rare these days to find an utterly original heroine like Jubilee - one who is bravely living an almost unimaginable life. Gripping, raw, and moving, this is one of my favourite novels of the year.Sarah Pekkanen, bestselling author of SKIPPING A BEAT and THE OPPOSITE OF ME
A witty, inventive, and bittersweet story of a reclusive young woman forced to venture into the world where complex medical issues become tangled with longings of the heart.Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT and LOOKING FOR ME
A funny, moving and tear-jerking love story.
The Sun on BEFORE I GO
Colleen Oakley's debut deftly balances sorrow with laughs and compassion.
Us Weekly on BEFORE I GO
Before I Go brings humour and authenticity to a heart-wrenching journey.
Author Oakley has set herself a tricky balancing act here, blending a comic sensibility with the depth and poignancy her subject requires. She pulls it off.
People Magazine on BEFORE I GO
Colleen Oakley takes on the big three - life, death,and love - and delivers a jewel. Before I Go absolutely glows with humour, wit, and compassion. I adore Oakley's fresh voice and could hardly bear for the book to end.
Lynn Cullen, bestselling author of MRS POE