Close Enough to Touch
by Colleen Oakley
Discussion Questions:
1. What effect does the alternating narrative between Jubilee’s and Eric’s perspectives have on your understanding of the events and characters in the book? How would the story have been different if it was just from Jubilee’s point of view?

2. Do you think Eric is a good dad to Aja? To Ellie? Why or why not? Compare and contrast his parenting style with that of Jubilee’s mother, Victoria. Consider the challenges each parent faces.

3. Why do you think Eric agreed to adopt Aja? How did that change his relationship with Stephanie? With Ellie?

4. How does Jubilee’s relationship with her mother affect her outlook on life? What would you do in her mother's shoes, having a child with a unique condition like Jubilee’s?

5. How is Jubilee affected by each of the people she interacts with as she reenters the world? How do they affect her perspective about her condition? Consider her interactions with Madison, Eric, Aja, Michael the pillow-golfer, and Louise.

6. Is Eric’s long-distance father-daughter book club experiment a success? What is so powerful about the shared reading experience? How has a book brought you closer to another family member or friend?

7. Why do you think Jubilee resists pursuing treatments or management for her condition? Why wouldn’t she want to see a doctor for an Epipen prescription?

8. Consider this quote: “People did stare at me in high school—like I was a curiosity—but I didn't think anyone ever noticed me. It’s a strange feeling, to be seen but invisible at the same time.” (p. 94) What is the difference between being seen and being noticed? Why is the difference important to Jubilee?

9. How has Jubilee’s nine-year seclusion affected her emotional maturity?

10. Discuss the importance of female friendship. How does Madison and Jubilee’s relationship affect each of the women?

11. Why is Jubilee the only adult who is able to get through to Aja? How do their shared experiences link them?

12. How does the truth about Jubilee’s condition change her relationship with Eric? With Madison?

13. Throughout the book, Jubilee starts to understand that her biggest fear isn’t actually physical touch but having emotional connections, only to be let down or disappointed by them. How does each character experience and deal with their own fears of vulnerability throughout the book?

14. Did the letter Jubilee found from her mother change your view of her? How so?

15. In the end, Jubilee asks Madison “if love is worth the risk.” How would you have answered that?

16. What was your reaction to the epilogue? Do you think Jubilee and Eric end up together for good? Why or why not?

Enhance Your Book Club - From the Publisher

1. Share with your book club: If you didn’t leave your house for nine years, what would you miss the most? How would you make your way back into the world? What would you tackle first?

2. Hold your next book club meeting at a local library; arrive early to people-watch and witness how your local library is serving your community.

3. Like Eric’s daughter Ellie’s school assignment, keep a journal of impressions, notes, and questions during your reading of your next book club pick. Share your reading journal with your book club.

(Discussion Questions by Publisher)
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