Margaret Hermes' character Betsy, in her novel "The Opposite of Chance", is sheltered at age thirty-two. 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. Margaret Hermes grew up in Chicago and lives in Saint Louis. Her short fiction collection, "Relative Strangers", was the recipient of the Doris Bakwin Award. In addition to dozens of stories that have appeared in journals such as Fiction International, The Laurel Review, Confrontation, River Styx, and The Literary Review, and in anthologies such as 20 Over 40 and Under the Arch, her published and performed work includes a novel, "The Phoenix Nest", and a stage adaptation of an Oscar Wilde fable. When not writing, she concentrates her energies on environmental issues. This is an in-person event. Masks are required for all attendees. Copies of "The Opposite of Chance" will be available for purchase and signing at the event, courtesy of Subterranean Books.