“The Odds of You and Me” by Cecilia Galante is not a typical love story. It’s really a story about how the smallest moments, the smallest mistakes, can alter our lives in profound ways.
And that’s what happens to Bernadette, or Bird, Sincavage. Galante shares her story slowly, interspersing the past and the present to slowly pull back the covers on how the past influenced the present in ways that will surprise not only the reader, but also the main character, Bird.
She is a single mother who lives with her mother and cleans houses to make money. At one point, she foolishly wrote bad checks to pay for her bills, and now she is just finishing probation and has paid off what she owed. This is when she accidentally runs into a former friend, James Rittenhouse, who is on the run from the police for the vicious beating of another man.
How Bird helps James, and why James is in that predicament, is part of the mystery. Galante shows how relationships change, and how a huge part of growing up is recognizing when to stop fighting battles that have become automatic — like the battle Bird fights with her mother about almost everything.
Galante clearly demonstrates the oh-so-truism that we never know what someone else’s struggles might be. Even though someone might appear to have the perfect life, the reality may be quite the opposite. And sometimes, people you hardly know surprise you by helping you achieve those goals which are dearest to you. The first person narrative helps the reader to feel Bird’s struggles. And those struggles are authentic, moving, and — ultimately — fulfilling.
Please note: This review is based on the final paperback book provided by the publisher, William Morrow, for review purposes.