Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Odds by Stewart O'Nan

The Odds by Stewart O'Nan
Published January 2012 by Penguin Group
Source: this one belongs to me

Publisher's Summary:
Valentine's weekend, Art and Marion Fowler flee their Cleveland suburb for Niagara Falls, desperate to recoup their losses. Jobless, with their home approaching foreclosure and their marriage on the brink of collapse, Art and Marion liquidate their savings account and book a bridal suite at the Falls' ritziest casino for a second honeymoon. While they sightsee like tourists during the day, at night they risk it all at the roulette wheel to fix their finances-and save their marriage.  

My Thoughts:
Financially, Art and Marion got caught in a worst-case scenario, a scenario thousands found themselves in when the bottom fell out of an economy that had made them think anything was possible. In retrospect, certainly they made mistakes, bad, maybe even irresponsible, choices. But it's not the financial choices they made that have put their marriage on the rocks. Art's choice almost cost them their marriage years ago. Despite the fact that she didn't end the marriage years ago, Marion has made Art pay for that choice every day since. Still, it's hard to blame her and easy to imagine yourself feeling the same way if you've been married for a long time.

Set in one of the least "everyday" places on earth, O'Nan has dropped two people with surprisingly everyday problems. We all know people like Art and Marion, people who have experienced everything they have, who have said the kinds of things to each other that they have. Set in a different setting, written by a less skilled author, Art and Marion's story could have been routine. Instead it's a book that will makes it's reader's think, that slowly grows on its readers drawing them into caring about Art and Marion and routing for them to find happiness.
"You couldn't relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile."
Book clubs would find a lot to talk about with The Odds, touching on themes of love, fidelity, forgiveness and hope.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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