Title: The Odds: A Love StoryAuthor: Stewart O'Nan
Publication Year: 2012
Edition: eGalleySource: Net Galley
Setting: Niagara Falls, Canada
Date Completed: 1/16/2012Rating: 4/5
The Odds: A Love Story is a short but enjoyable novel of fewer than 200 pages. It's the story of Art and Marion Fowler, a couple married nearly 30 years, whose marriage is facing tough and desperate times. Both have lost their jobs, their home in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio is at risk of being foreclosed, credit card debt has mounted, and bankruptcy seems to be the next step. The Fowler's have been stuck in a rut, and the mounting pressure has caused the couple to see divorce as a likely possibility.
In a last ditch effort to save the marriage, Art convinces his wife to take what money they have left in their savings account, and travel by bus for a Valentine's Day, for a second honeymoon to Niagara Falls. He has a plan which involves gambling their remaining savings in the casino's roulette wheel. He's calculated "the odds", and is convinced they can hit it big, hoping that they can save their marriage in the process.
The story moves back and forth in time over the couples 30 year marriage. As the couple spends their time eating, drinking, and some sight-seeing, and at a concert, the reader gets a glimpse at the tender times and troubling times of Art and Marion over the years. The author goes deep into the inner and unsaid feelings of both Art and Marion, to let the reader know what is going on in their heads, including the grudges they have harbored against each other. The things each has done and regretted, and all the many issues that lots of couples married that long may be faced to deal with at one time or another.
I loved the way the story was written. The beginning of each chapter features: "The Odds" of some event happening. For example, The Odds of a Married Couple Making Their 25th Anniversary: 1 in 6. I loved these headers, as they occasionally gave the reader a little prelude to what was to follow in each chapter. The Odds: was a treat to read. It's the story of a marriage, with all of it's ups and downs. It's not all doom and gloom; there is parts that made me laugh as well. It's a story that might make you rethink your own relationship as well. I'm happy to have had the chance to read this one, and I think most readers will enjoy it.