Weaving culinary delights with an honest, appraising look at how we deal with the world when it becomes too much, Closer to Okay is the comfort food we all need in these, well, crazy times.

Mental illness, suicidal attempts, suicidal thoughts.

Kyle Davies is doing fine. She has her routine, after all, ingrained in her from years of working as a baker: wake up, make breakfast, prep the dough, make lunch, work the dough, make dinner, bake dessert, go to bed. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s a good routine. Comforting. Almost enough to help her forget the scars on her wrist, still healing from when she slit it a few weeks ago; that she lost her job at the bakery when she checked herself in as an inpatient at Hope House; then signed away all decisions about her life, medical care, and wellbeing to Dr. Booth (who may or may not be a hack). So, yeah, Kyle’s doing just fine.

Except that a new item’s been added to her daily to-do list recently: stare out her window at the coffee shop (named, well…The Coffee Shop) across the street, and its hot owner, Jackson. It’s healthy to have eye candy when you’re locked in the psych ward, right? Something low risk to keep yourself distracted. So when Dr. Booth allows Kyle to leave the facility–two hours a day to go wherever she wants–she decides to up the stakes a little more. Why not visit? Why not see what Jackson’s like in person?

Turns out that Jackson’s a jerk with a heart of gold, a deadly combination that Kyle finds herself drawn to more than she should be. (Aren’t we all?) At a time when Dr. Booth delivers near-constant warnings about the dangers of romantic entanglements, Kyle is pulled further and further into Jackson’s orbit. At first, the feeling of being truly taken care of is bliss, like floating on a wave. But at a time when Kyle is barely managing her own problems, she finds herself suddenly thrown into the deep end of someone else’s. Dr. Booth may have been right after all: falling in love may be the thing that sends Kyle into a backslide she might never be able to crawl out of. Is Jackson too much for her to handle? Does love come at the cost of sanity?

Don't just take our word for it...

“If you, like me, are a sucker for vivid characters that pop off the page—characters you’d love to hang out with in real life—Closer To Okay is for you. Kyle is as charming, lovable, and talented as she is broken, and her hero as swoon-worthy as he is enigmatic. Amy Watson invites us inside the experience of depression and shows us the hope that we all would like to find there. No neat and tidy endings here; Watson leaves all the messy frayed edges intact . . . but shows us the beauty, too. And we are better for it.”
– Kathleen Basi, author of A Song for the Road

“A feast for the senses, as well as a sweet story of healing, Closer to Okay will tickle your tastebuds and touch your heart in equal measure.”
– Brianne Moore, author of A Bright Young Thing

Taste the very first page

I run my thumb up and down the length of the three scars on my forearm. The Blue Line train under the building rattles the windows. Across Division Street, The Coffee Shop is starting its day, turning on the Edison bulbs. I’ve been watching since I got here three weeks ago; it turns out I find their routine soothing, and I take comfort wherever I can find it these days. It first caught my eye because of its name, which is truly just The Coffee Shop—whoever owns it, these guys are confident or stupid. Or both.

The night nurse stands in my doorway. “Kyle, it’s time to get breakfast started,” she tells me. By the time I turn around, she’s already continuing down the hall for her next wellness check.

“Thanks, Nancy. I’ll be down in a few minutes.”

The coffee guys are doing their prep: putting on aprons, making cups of coffee for themselves, stocking the counter with sup- plies. The guy with the shorter, dark hair never smiles. Why is he so serious all the time? He looks like someone pulled him out of a…