The Opposite of Chance

The Opposite of Chance

by Margaret Hermes
The Opposite of Chance

The Opposite of Chance

by Margaret Hermes


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At 32, Betsy is sheltered. Sheltered by a close-knit family, Catholic schools, college in her hometown, and a marriage at 20. It takes the discovery of her husband’s serial philandering to open her eyes and push her out of the nest. It’s the summer of 1981, Betsy grabs a backpack and a few good books and puts distance—geographically and emotionally—between herself and the life she knew in the American Midwest. She begins to make her own decisions: about cities, hotels, and dinner entrées. At airports, on trains, and in pensiones, Betsy takes her first steps into independence as she negotiates the brief, but intense relationships travelers have. Armed with a book of travelers’ phrases and a Swiss Army Knife, she brushes up against possibilities for connection, almost entering the life stories of the strangers she chances upon and whose paths we follow in alternating chapters. We become acquainted with a devout Muslim on a pilgrimage, a French financier raised on a rabbit farm, a lawyer on a solo honeymoon, a Pakistani gambler, a beguiling American threesome en route to Venice, an Italian hotel owner on Lake Como, and a passionate Irish protestor who literally carries her to safety from the streets of Dublin. Finally, back home, Betsy comes to the startling realization that her journey is only just beginning.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781953002143
Publisher: Delphinium
Publication date: 03/15/2022
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 1,023,736
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.49(d)

About the Author

Margaret Hermes grew up in Chicago and resides in St. Louis. A collection of her short fiction, Relative Strangers (Carolina Wren/Blair), was chosen by Jill McCorkle as winner of the Bakwin Book Award and given a special second place award in the Balcones Fiction Prize competition. Her novel, The Phoenix Nest, was published in English (Contemporary Books) and German (Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag). She composed the book and lyrics for a stage adaptation of the Oscar Wilde fable The Birthday of the Infanta for Metro Theatre Company. Dozens of her short stories have appeared in journals ranging from Fiction International to River Styx to New Millennium to The Literary Review. When not writing, she concentrates her energies on environmental issues.

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