(Downtown Press, 2009)
Mia Saul is down on her luck. Dumped by her husband, jettisoned from her job and estranged from her adored older brother, she and her young daughter Eden have had had to make a downscale move to a crummy apartment where their neighbors include a tough young drug dealer and a widower who lets his dogs use the hallways as their own personal litter box. Juggling a series of temporary jobs, wrangling with her ex-husband over child support and trying to keep pace with Eden’s increasingly erratic behavior have left Mia weary and worn out.
Then one evening a routine stop at her local bank’s ATM yields a surprise. The machine begins producing bills—quite a lot of them in fact—that are neither recorded nor debited from her account. At first Mia attributes the excess cash to a stroke of much needed luck. But when the machine continues to give her unaccounted for money and actually begins communicating with her, her life gets turned around in ways she never thought possible. An up-to-the minute urban story that has just a whiff of magic, Breaking The Bank is a wholly original, engaging work of contemporary fiction.
Praise for Breaking the Bank
“Yona Zeldis McDonough has written a deliciously intriguing black comedy that perfectly captures the zeitgeist–with a dash of magic for good measure.”
–Christina Baker Kline, NYT Best Selling Author of Orphan Train
“Unlike anything I’ve ever read before, McDonough’s book gleefully dissects the cachet of cash, the broken heart of divorce and the struggle to single-mother when your bankbook’s more than a bit depleted. Slyly witty, deeply felt and full of magic, it’s a wonderful page-turner to fall in love with page after page.”
—Caroline Leavitt, NYT Bestselling Author of Pictures of You
“Yona Zeldis McDonough has hit the jackpot with Breaking the Bank, a quirky, moving modern fairy tale about a woman and her daughter, abandoned and near destitute, saved by magic. Like a modern day genie, McDonough pulls out breathtakingly alive characters and sly commentary on how our lives are shaped by the money we have–or don’t have.”
–Rochelle Jewel Shapiro
“Husband leaves wife, child acts out, financially strapped mother is consumed with anger and guilt. Sound familiar? It won’t be after you’ve read Breaking the Bank, Yona Zeldis McDonough’s heartbreakingly poignant and witty story about one woman’s struggle suddenly ameliorated by a magical ATM that begins to dispense wads of extra (and unrecorded) cash, along with a sizeable bundle of hope.”