cover image Breaking the Bank

Breaking the Bank

Yona Zeldis McDonough, . . Pocket/Downtown, $15 (368pp) ISBN 978-1-4391-0253-4

McDonough third novel hurls a series of highly implausible events at its conventional urban heroine, to predictable and disappointing results. Mia Saul, a single mother in Brooklyn, struggles with a tight budget, an unreliable ex-husband and a sullen 10-year-old daughter. But when an ATM in her neighborhood begins dispensing much more cash than she's requested (with the instruction to “use it well”), Mia's luck appears to be changing. At first, it seems to be everything she'd wished for—her financial burden is lifted, her daughter's mood lightens and Mia even begins to fall in love—but not all of the changes brought about are for the better. Unfortunately, character development is nonexistent, the big payoff (as it were) is a letdown, and the plot is too thin to support a checking of disbelief or the book's length. (Sept.)