Monday, October 12, 2009

Breaking The Bank by Yona Zeldis McDonough (R)

Mia Saul is barely keeping her head above water.  She lives in New York City with her daughter, Eden, and works a series of temp editorial jobs.  Her husband, Lloyd, has walked out after sixteen years of marriage for a young girl he met while filming a documentary on the nail salon industry.  He sends child support haphazardly  when it suits him, but still considers himself able to interfere in all of Mia's decisions.  Mis is constantly worried.  Worried about Eden, who is having trouble at school, worried about money, worried about their apartment, just worried. 

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?   Will she start a new relationship with Fred, the steady laid-back bartender who is definately interested in her?  Or will she throw everything away for an exciting mystery man who everyone thinks is totally wrong for her?

Breaking The Bank is a charming book.  It is a light romance as well as an interesting take on the everyday life of single moms.  The reader finds themselves cheering for Mia to make it.  This book is recommended for those looking for a feel-good book, and for lovers of women's literature. 

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