"THE ODDS." By Stewart O'Nan. Viking. $25.95.
Stewart O'Nan doesn't write sweeping epics, doesn't delve into places far away or times long past. Instead, he peers deeply into the personal -- the real lives of real people, their dreams and fears, their triumphs, however small, and their failings, however petty. In these lives, he teases out larger truths, the truths we can all relate to, even if we haven't shared the experience.