The Odds of You and Me: A Novel by Cecilia Galante (William Morrow, $14.99, 384 pages)
Cecilia Galante’s The Odds of You and Me combines multiple themes – the underdog, youth, love and forgiveness – into one very solid novel. Without providing a spoiler, if the reader is hoping that tough odds will be overcome and a Hollywood-style ending is in store, forget it. This is not a Hallmark or Disney movie. Nevertheless, this story may appeal to readers who are open to a unique display of what happiness, life, grit, and perseverance mean in the real world.
In Odds, Bernadette “Bird” Sincavage bears a child at a young age under less than ideal circumstances. She is close to being released from probation when she happens to cross the path of James – a former co-worker, a bad boy that she found to be fascinating. James is being hunted by the police and Bird is unintentionally drawn back into the complicated orbit of his life.
As the story’s details begin to come together, there are “gray” decisions to be made. Mrs. Ross, a probation officer, and Jane and Mr. Herron – two of the individuals whose homes Bird cleans, recognize her basic goodness and become advocates for her.
James, destined to be an ill-fated match for Bird, is the ultimate hero/villain. It’s up to the reader to make up his or her mind in terms of what’s right and wrong; which is precisely why this is a very good, challenging novel.
Bird’s mother sees things in simple black and white, and Catholic priest Father Delaney (a representative of a church that has seen much controversy and turmoil in modern times) attempts to provide a measure of moral conscience. But there are no easy answers; matters remain quite complicated.
The Odds of You and Me works at many levels, and should appeal to many readers including a potentially significant number of young adults.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.
“The Odds of You and Me is (a novel) in the vein of Meg Donohue and Sarah Jio.” Amazon
Dave Moyer is a public school superintendent in Illinois, and he is the author of Life and Life Only: A Novel.