Friday, March 16, 2012

The Odds by Stewart O'Nan


What "The Odds" is about:
Jobless, nearly homeless, and with their marriage on the brink of collapse, Art and Marion Fowler flee their Cleveland home for one last Valentine's Day hurrah at Niagara Falls. Their days are spent sightseeing, but at night they risk what dwindling resources they have left at the roulette wheel to fix their finances.  A tender yet honest exploration of faith, forgiveness and last chances. The Odds is a reminder that love and life are always a gamble.


Why I wanted to read it: Because so many of my book friends love this author!

Source: NetGalley


  • Even though this is a short novel it packs a wallop and I thought the entire story was superb!
  • I immediately felt a connection with both Art and Marion, especially about the way they were both feeling in regards to their marriage and their own lives. I've been married seventeen years and even though it hasn't been as long as theirs, I have experienced many highs and many lows. 
  • Art tried so hard to make Marion love him again...to bring romance back into their life and for that alone I enjoyed his character.
  • We (as spouses) don't realize how easily we hurt each other. After years of living with our partner we tend to give them less of ourselves and at times treat them callously. Art and Marion have moments where they each recall how much in love they were at one time and wonder if they could ever get back to that place again.
  • I really liked how each chapter started with the odds of some event occurring.....great device to foreshadow what was to come in the story.
  • The ending....it was fitting!

I will certainly be adding O'Nan books to my future reading stacks. I loved his writing style and the way he told the story. He made me feel for the characters and at times I wondered if he read my own mind.....wonderful story and highly recommended!

Source: NetGalley and Penguin Group USA
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 179
Published:  January 2012
*Uncorrected ARC

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group USA for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel. 

Book Review #8
© 2012, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission. 

22 comments:

  1. Glad you had a chance to read this one Staci. I enjoyed it as well.

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  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book. It was emotional somehow, in a way I can't explain. I also plan to read more O'Nan.

    Hope all is going well this week.

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  3. I almost picked this up the other day. It sounds like I should have. It sounds like it makes you think.

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  4. I really like his writing but his stories are so intense! I haven't tried this one yet...

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  5. I wonder if this is one I would enjoy or not.

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  6. I'm one of those who has become a O"Nan fan. Now I'm looking forward to reading this one.

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  7. Lovely review! I will look for this one when it comes out. I loved his The Night Country, I was just thinking of it yesterday, in fact. I have Songs for the Missing on my TBR shelf. He does pack an emotional wallop in his writing, doesn't he? It can come softly or suddenly, and yet clues to it are always there. I like how you link the odds to if it happens or not, the way the author set it up.

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  8. Terrific review, Staci. I like O'Nan's writing and don't recall hearing of this one. I'll add this to my list.

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  9. Glad you enjoyed this one so much, Staci.

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  10. Sounds good and I like that he really seem to get it. Most books I read are wonderful, but they are not real

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  11. I read one O'Nan book a few years ago and thought the writing was phenomenal. I have been meaning to read more of his work... this might be the next one I pick up!

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  12. I've been meaning to read something by this author for some time now! He sounds like he writes really good books and after reading your thoughts I definitely want to pick this one up! Thanks for sharing!

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  13. "We (as spouses) don't realize how easily we hurt each other. After years of living with our partner we tend to give them less of ourselves and at times treat them callously." This can be so true, but as long as we are cogniscent of it, we can not do that. I see my friends be this way towards each other often.

    So glad you enjoyed this one. and a short story too. Thanks chica :)

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  14. I like how simple this story was, but also how much it made you think. I loved this more than I expected to, though I didn't think the odds/probabilities at the beginning were necessary. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one

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  15. I'm not familiar with this author but I loved what you had to say about The Odds so I'll be keeping an eye out for it. Thanks Staci :)

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  16. Another glowing review of this book! I'm going to have to keep this one in mind for sure.

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  17. I have one of O'Nan's on my shelves (can't recall which just now). You've convinced me I need to give him a shot...and then pick this one up!

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  18. This is definitely an intense little novel! I love O'Nan's writing.

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  19. I haven't yet read any of O'Nan's books but I do want to. Like you, I've heard such great things about his writing. I am so glad you recommend him after reading this one.

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  20. I really want to read this book. Sounds like a great one especially for readers who've been married a while!

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  21. This one does sound good and, like you,
    i've been wanting to try this author because so many bloggers love him.

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  22. I thought Last Night at the Lobster was just okay, so I haven't ventured into any more by this author. Hmmm

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