Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and the author of Every Kiss A War, Whiskey & Ribbons, So We Can Glow, and This Close To Okay. She lives in Kentucky with her husband and their two teenagers. Find more at LeesaCrossSmith.com.
"This Close to Okay will have you enthralled in the story of
Emmett and Tallie--with each character revealing the truths behind
that monumental weekend from their own perspectives."--RUSSH
"A touching story about two strangers who meet under the worst of circumstances, but end up finding love and healing within each other."--Marie Claire
"An insightful look at grief, pain, and healing."--BookBub
"An uplifting story of how one encounter can change our lives in the way we don't expect."--Hong Kong Tatler
"Cross-Smith's writing is reliably a delight--Roxane Gay has called her 'a consummate storyteller'--and in a time of such isolation, a novel about strangers coming together seems especially appealing."--Electric Literature
"Following her wildly successful short story collection, Leesa Cross-Smith has written a lovely novel about two strangers, brought together unexpectedly, and the hope and connection they provide one another."--Ms. Magazine
"The reader cannot help but root for [Tallie and Emmett] to find themselves and their happiness."--SheReads
"Uplifting." --Harper's Bazaar
"A fast-moving, drama-filled roller coaster that will keep you guessing about how things will turn out for these two lost souls."--BookPage
"A novel about just how powerful someone could be in another person's life."--Shondaland
"A poignant page-turner about perseverance and two broken people who, like all of at one time or another, just need someone to tell them everything's going to be all right."--Real Simple
"An emotional, uplifting tale of hope, chosen family, and the healing power of human connection, especially at the moments when we're most determined to be alone."--Good Housekeeping
"Another page-turner . . . A story about the power of vulnerability and connection, This Close to Okay is a moving reminder of the importance of authentic human relationships."--Refinery29
"Cross-Smith once again shows adeptness at exploring the range of human emotions, particularly the fragility of relationships in the wake of tragedy...offer[s] twists that keep the novel interesting and realistic. A page-turning pleasure with a heroine to love."--Booklist
"Inventive. Authentic. Honest."--Craft Literary
"One of the most charming and uplifting stories I've read recently. It's the perfect dose of escapism."--Maisy Card, Glamour
"One of those rare feel-good novels that also crackles with wisdom, This Close to Okay introduces readers to two characters who will come to feel like cherished friends. . . Over the course of a single weekend, their many conversations on love, loss, grief, and joy coalesce into a primer on human goodness."--Elle
"This Close to Okay is such a joy to read! It at once delights and moves, its sweetness and sass and sexiness balanced with deep questions about honesty, intimacy, and heartbreak. Leesa Cross-Smith is a confident storyteller and, in her hands, her characters come alive; they are fallible, charming, complicated, and--like all of us--aching for connection."
--Edan Lepucki, New York Times author of California and Woman No. 17
So We Can Glow is precise and yearning in all the right ways. Cross-Smith understands sex and lust and love and all the ways they can get crossed up. Inventive in form, drifting from poetry to prose to script to smartphone text to receipt, Cross-Smith explores our affections, how they flourish or, more often, unravel, and her writing delivers this wisdom with blunt honesty and sex appeal to spare. It brings into existence secrets we didn't even know we had.--JM Holmes, award-winning author of How Are You Going to Save Yourself (on So We Can Glow)
"I've laughed with Tallie and Emmett. I've cried with them too. We've listened to music, watched movies, had meals together. Not to mention all the honest conversations about love, life, grief and death. Now that I finished reading this extraordinary and oh so heartwarming story, I'm not sure how to move on. I miss them both deeply."
--Carolina Setterwall, author of Let's Hope for the Best
"Leesa Cross-Smith is the most intimate and tender writer on my bookshelf. Once I started reading This Close to Okay, I couldn't stop. Weekend reading at its finest, this story about chance strangers in the mist will spark every ember in your chest and leave you breathless. Cross-Smith's wondrous and nimble heart beats true on every page."
--Amy Jo Burns, author of Shiner
"This is a heartfelt and moving novel about grief, love, second chances, and the coincidences that change lives. Leesa Cross-Smith is a wonderful writer and a wonderful caregiver of her characters, showing them the kindness they can't always show themselves, and giving readers a tender, intoxicating reading experience we won't soon forget."
--Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State
"With an effortlessly Baldwinian style of misleading simplicity, Leesa Cross-Smith's beguiling prose lures readers in from the first moments. Reading Cross-Smith is like stepping into seemingly calm water, only to be swept away by the force of a story so immediate, and characters so intimate and bewitching, that you do not want to come up for air."
--Bethany C Morrow, author of Mem and A Song Below Water
"With great tenderness and care, Leesa Cross-Smith has written a beautiful, moving story about the ways the heart hurts in this world--and the depths we'll go to help each other heal. This Close to Okay is a balm for anyone who's ever felt their faith in themselves or others begin to fade."
--Natalia Sylvester, author of Everyone Knows You Go Home
I so admire these stirring, sexy, haunting stories about the darkest corners of women's inner lives. A treat for the soul and the senses, and funny too. Leesa Cross-Smith is a wonderful storyteller.--Alexia Arthurs, award-winning author of How to Love a Jamaican (on So We Can Glow)
Leesa Cross-Smith writes the way many people wish they could: ferociously, tenderly, and with a tremendous amount of heart. The stories contained in So We Can Glow showcase the very best of Cross-Smith's voice. They stick with readers long after the book is closed. This collection is tantalizing and Cross-Smith is a delight.--Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things (on So We Can Glow)
The magic of So We Can Glow is that no matter who you are, no matter your circumstances, no matter your gender identity, when reading this book you become the girls and women in these pages. You hope their hopes, dream their dreams, fantasize and love alongside them. Leesa Cross-Smith is some sort of sorceress.--Rion Amilcar Scott, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize-winning author of Insurrections and The World Doesn't Require You (on So We Can Glow)
"Leesa Cross-Smith's This Close to Okay navigates difficult subjects with great tenderness and the beautiful, emotionally rich language she's known for. By turns heartbreaking, charming, surprising and funny, Cross-Smith deftly explores what it means to be okay in the face of what life hands us."--Elizabeth Crane, author of The History of Great Things