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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Odds: A Love Story - Stewart O'Nan

Released January 2012

Stewart O'Nan

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Years ago, I read Stewart O'Nan's Last Night at the Lobster and loved it, so I was eager to read The Odds: A Love Story. In O'Nan's latest tale, Art and Marion Fowler are on the brink of bankruptcy after both lose their jobs in the troubled economy. Their grown children no longer depend on them and Art's indiscretion is something Marion cannot forgive. With their finances in shambles, the pair are ready to sign divorce papers and start anew. With one last hurrah, the couple head off to Niagara Falls staying in the honeymoon suite of a fancy casino. They honeymooned here, so it seems fitting that their marriage ends where it began. Between sightseeing and fine dining, the couple take what money they have left and hope that Lady Luck might smile on them bringing an end to their problems.

The Odds isn't a lengthy story. At just over 190 pages, it's a quick read, yet still detailed and engaging. I hate to admit that I found myself sympathizing with both characters from time to time. Being married for so many years does cause couples, especially when there are children and jobs both demanding your attention, to get stuck in a rut at times.  By the end, I hoped for the best, but the odds of a winning big in a casino, as many know are incredibly slim. Readers will just have to pick up a copy of the book and find out if Art and Marion become a statistic or if they're able to save their marriage.

At the beginning of each chapter, readers will find a little snippet of trivia involving odds. Such as the odds of a marriage lasting, the odds of a person filing bankruptcy, the odds of returning to the place you spent your honeymoon or the odds of becoming sick during a vacation. These snippets are just as much fun to read as Art and Marion's story.

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