Literary Fiction

The Odds by Stewart O’Nan

The odds of a contemporary middle-aged couple relating to the characters and events in this book?  About 1 in 2.  O’Nan’s gem of a book, set appropriately in Niagara Falls on Valentine’s Day, is about Art and Marion Fowler’s attempt to “go for broke” to save their marriage and their dignity.  As empty nesters dealing with unemployment, an unpayable mortgage and an impending divorce, they cash out their life savings and risk it all in a casino in the Canadian Falls–the same casino they visited on their honeymoon 30 years earlier.  As they stumble along from one fiasco to another, the reader is rooting for them to beat the odds, perhaps thinking “there but for the grace of God go I.”  Reading this book during Valentine’s week made it especially timely, but anyone who is a romantic at heart will be cheering for the Fowlers to succeed.

The Odds

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