Stewart O'Nan's "The Odds: A Love Story" is almost certainly unlike any other love story you've ever read - or heard. It's suspenseful, and the tension that builds throughout leads to an unexpected climax. On some levels, it's not particularly hopeful. And every chapter starts with the odds on...something.
"Odds of a U.S. tourist visiting Niagara Falls." "Odds of being in a bus accident." "Odds of a married couple having an argument on Valentine's Day."
This short title takes place over the course of one Valentine's Day weekend, and everything has come down to the odds: the odds that Art and Marion Fowler, married 30 years, can save their marriage. The odds that they can recover financially from a devastating recession and save their home.
Art and Marion's marriage is on the brink of collapse; both have had affairs and each is bored with the other. Both are unemployed due to layoffs; their home is about to go into foreclosure. In a desperate attempt to turn things around, Art books a honeymoon suite in Niagara Falls, where they had honeymooned 30 years earlier, and empties out their savings accounts. The plan - at least from Art's perspective - is two-fold: first, he'll use a roulette system he's studied extensively to quadruple what's left of their savings and rescue them financially. At the same time, he'll create for Marion the perfect second honeymoon, maxing out the credit cards to rescue their failing marriage.
In both cases, the odds are against them. And in both cases it's worth risking everything, because they really have nothing to lose.
"The Odds" is tense, bittersweet and gripping; brilliantly reflecting the relationship it chronicles. No spoilers here, but the ending comes as a complete surprise.
Stewart O' Nan is one of the most renowned fiction authors in the Audio Bookstore catalog. The Odds: A Love Story is his fourteenth novel, and was named on NPR's list of Favorite Books of 2012 and the Chicago Tribune and Cleveland Plain Dealer's Best Books of 2012.
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. A tender yet honest exploration of faith, forgiveness and last chances, The Odds is a reminder that love, like life, is always a gamble. Download and start listening now!