The common thread among the 18 stories inAgainst the Oddsis the way people can resourcefully overcome obstacles to realize their ambitions and dreams. The "odds" are varied in these skillfully written tales. An obstacle to one's success or happiness may lie in one's own character or the prejudice of someone else. A potential employer may cast a suspicious eye on an individual's background. A guardian seems reluctant to sponsor any further education for his charge. Other characters here are looking as much for increased self-respect as financial reward or better training. Set in locales as varied as Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island, the stories ofAgainst the Oddsare peopled with orphans, teachers, actors, struggling single-parent families, intransigent relatives. It's a world, though distant from our own, where Montgomery's characters have problems similar to ours, and their methods of solving them are not very different from what we would try.