Will Sterling is 16 and "confused by nearly everything." His mid-fiftyish mom has been dating since Will's father died three years ago: she dates more than Will does! Each weekend, Will drives from New Jersey to Connecticut to stay with the Kean family because fortyish Terri Kean is his surrogate mother, mentor, and fantasy soul mate. At school, Sara is his lifesaver, but she has a boyfriend and seems to want more from Will than he has been able to give. African American Billy, whose father is also dead, and other basketball players provide male companionship for Will, who's quasi-competent on the court. The late Mr. Sterling, a scientist, taught Will lots about science, but not much about himself or life. Will valiantly tries to grasp life using probability theory, but, "All I had was intuition, which, as my father liked to say, was the enemy of probability."
Praise for PROBABILITIES
"A fierce literary intelligence." -Publishers Weekly
"A thoroughly off-kilter manner, a swift and skillfully compressed plot. The result is an absolute charmer with a spry and sarcastic edge." -Kirkus Reviews
"A young man tries to discern the incalculable truths of family debt and romantic desire. Funny, sly, and sensuous, Michael Stein has written a lasting portrait about growing up on shaky American turf and surviving against the odds."
-Maria Flook, author of Invisible Eden
"Stein has drawn Will Sterling so vividly and given him such a distinctive voice that within a few pages the reader moves from detached observer to confidant."
- Eric Kraft
"The sometimes grim realities of coming of age remind us that the trials of adolescence occasionally present an odd form of exhilaration. Probabilities convincingly creates a feeling peculiar to being sixteen--that life can feel miserable and filled with great promise at the same time."
-Chris Van Allsberg