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Breaking the Bank Paperback – September 8, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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"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, author of The Way Life Should Be
"Yona Zeldis McDonough's star-bright new novel, "Breaking The Bank," is not really a fable of our times--it accurately portrays our times, where the improbable is sometimes made real. By showing the way we live now, Ms. McDonough illustrates, in language and situations no one else could have created, just how strange and fascinating and true urban life is for the witty hopeful pragmatists that populate this lovely and fully realized work." --Hilton Als, Staff writer, the New Yorker
"A modern-day fairytale, with a twist. McDonough's characters' flaws only serve to underscore their humanity. I couldn't put it down!"--Megan McAndrew, author of Dreaming in French
Top Customer Reviews
A single mom struggling with financial problems, with a beloved and stubborn daughter who will not eat, suddenly begins to get more money than she asked for when she goes to her ATM. Her adventures as she tries to help her daughter, resolve the moral and legal issues of taking the money, free herself from her ex, and find new love make for fascinating reading.
I read "Breaking the Bank" in less than 24 hours because I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. And once I was finished I kept thinking about it. It raised so many interesting issues. Is the parent with more money the better parent? Is stealing from an institution stealing if there is no record of it? Should a family help a depressed family member with money troubles with money or with tough love? Does giving money to the needy expiate the shady nature of its acquisition?
Then there were the well-drawn characters of the men to ponder, the seeming sensitive selfish ex, the boring but reliable new man, the wild man who was both a devil and an angel, and the traitorous brother.
I very much enjoy reading novels set in my neighborhood. Interesting how the fairy tale rang more true than the realistic one.
Then one night it happens. She goes to an ATM to take out one hundred dollars, and the machine gives her two hundred, while putting out a receipt for the hundred she asked for. She assumes the machine just made a mistake and it would reflect on her next statement, but the mistake doesn't show up. The next time it is five hundred, then a thousand, and finally an uncirculated ten-thousand dollar bill. Mis can't believe what is happening, but doesn't tell anyone. She starts to give money to those around her in need, trying to make their lives a little better as the money does hers.
But worse is to happen. She sells the bill to a local dealer, who then gets killed soon after. That brings the police to Mia's door, and she is even arrested and spends a night in jail. This just provides more ammunition to Lloyd, who manages to get Mia's family on his side. They all insist that she is making poor decisions that affect Eden, and Eden goes to live with her grandparents, leaving Mia miserable.
Along with these woes, there are romantic ones. Will Mia get back with Lloyd, who seems to be around more and more?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cute but not very realistic. Great for a quick read, but when you really think about it - it's frustrating because it's quite far fetched & not real. Read morePublished on November 22, 2013 by aus shopper
I don't really understand all the great reviews this book is getting. Although not horrible, I did not find it to be as realistic as it is getting credit for. Read morePublished on April 13, 2012 by mc
This book was so enchanting I could not put it down. All of the characters were well-drawn and interesting and I loved the plot. Read morePublished on November 12, 2010 by BookLover526
I really wanted to like this book, and the characters within it, but I just couldn't find it in myself. Read morePublished on April 12, 2010 by C. Quinn
Every time I left this book, I returned shortly to pick it up again. Before ATM's, if a teller gave you too much money, she would probably be responsible, and you would have... Read morePublished on January 16, 2010 by Suzi
Breaking The Bank is a very enjoyable read. Once you are drawn into its magical realism, you can't put it down. Read morePublished on November 30, 2009 by Renee Ghert-Zand
Breaking the Bank creates characters so real, they almost step off the page and into your life. The story is about Mia Saul, a struggling single mother who discovers an ATM that... Read morePublished on November 23, 2009 by Wendy Jones
A fun ride through Park Slope with a single mom with real problems (ie. difficult ex, child care, employment, family, money). Read morePublished on October 26, 2009 by NJ reader
Breaking The Bank is welcome magic in a very real world. I was rooting for Mia from the get-go and found everyone in this book, from vexing ex to Patrick, a thoroughly original... Read morePublished on October 19, 2009 by L. Phillips