About The Odds of You and Me• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (January 31, 2017)
In the vein of Meg Donohue and Sarah Jio, Cecilia Galante’s second novel delivers the powerful story of one young woman who’s faced with an impossible choice—one that could have her making the biggest mistake of her life.
Thirteen days. That’s all Bernadette, “Bird,” Sincavage has left to go until she’s done with her probation and can be free again. Free from making payments to the supermarket she wrote bad checks to. Free from living at home with her overzealous mother who’s constantly nagging her about attending church again. Free to give her four-year-old son, Angus, the normal life he deserves. Her impending freedom and move to Moon Lake, where she’s plunked down a deposit on a brand new apartment, is so close she can almost taste it. What trouble could she possibly get into in just thirteen days?
But trouble does follow in the form of James Rittenhouse—someone she worked with a few years ago. At first, Bird is stunned to see James make the evening news when he’s arrested for assaulting someone in a local bar. But that’s nothing compared to the shock she gets when she discovers James hiding out in an abandoned church choir loft. Somehow he escaped police custody, broke his leg, and got his hand on a gun, which he’s now pointing at her.
Although Bird doesn’t tell anyone she saw James, there’s no way she’s helping him. She can’t screw up her probation or her second chance for a new future. And she has her son’s welfare to think about. Still. If only she could stop thinking about the terrified look in James’ eyes and the fact that he’s hurt. If only she could forget that once, long ago, James helped her out, and she owes him a debt like no other.
Will Bird jeopardize her future for someone who helped her out in the past? A past that holds secrets she’s not quite sure she’s ready to face? Or will she turn a blind eye and learn to live with the consequences?
About Cecilia GalanteCecilia Galante, who received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Vermont, is the author of eight young adult novels and a children’s chapter-book series. She has been the recipient of many awards, including an NAIBA Best Book of the Year, and an Oprah’s Teen Read Selection for her first novel, The Patron Saint of Butterflies. She lives in Kingston, Pennsylvania with her three children. Find out more about Cecilia at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
I almost put this book down several times. I tried to like Bird, but the more I learned about her life, about her mistakes, I became distracted by Pink's "Stupid Girls" that kept looping through my brain.
The book begins when Bird meets with her parole officer: She only has thirteen days until her parole is up. She paid back the judgment against her for writing bad checks, but she had to move into her mother's home in order to afford the payments. Bird doesn't get along with her mother. She is resentful, disrespectful, and disdainful of her mother's Catholic faith. As the thirteen days are counting down, Bird runs by the church to pick up a sweater her mother had left behind (totally staged by her mom), and that's where she sees fugitive James Rittenhouse hiding out. She risks her probation to help James, and the reader discovers what James means to Bird through flashbacks. Their storyline is surprising and poignant.
Bird isn't all bad because many people like her and try to help her, especially a few of her clients. She tries very hard to be a good mother which is admirable as is her strong work ethic. She needs to work on being a better daughter, though. I, too, was rooting for her until she says "F*ck God." That's when I almost put the book down. She says it to her mother: Her mother tries to encourage Bird to attend church out of love; Bird says hateful things to her mother, maligning her faith out of spite. But since I was obligated to read the book and write a fair review, I picked it up again and finished reading the book. It has a VERY satisfying ending, and if you enjoy women's fiction, then you will like The Odds of You and Me.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of The Odds of You and Me from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.