Breaking the Bank
Yona Zedis McDonough
Downtown, Sep 8 2009, $15.00
Mia Saul lost her job at the same her husband Lloyd kicks her to the curb. Accompanied by her ten year old daughter Eden, she moves into a crummy Brooklyn apartment, where their neighbors include a tough young drug dealer and a widower whose dogs use the hallways as toilets. Mia obtains temporary work while her spouse argues over child support and Eden struggles to adjust to the changes in her life.
Mia goes to an ATM to withdraw money, but the machine hands her thousands which she did not ask for without reducing her account into negative numbers; the machine advises her to use the loot smartly. She leaves with plenty of money and dreams of opportunities. The police wonder if she is doing something illegal and her family friends fear for her sanity so they decide on an intervention while Lloyd demands Eden stay with his parents in North Carolina. When she meets her neighbor Patrick, Mia finds a breath of fresh air in her still troubled existence.
Although the plot is thin and filled with improbability (not counting the ATM machine who is more human than most of the cast), readers will enjoy this allegorical look at modern life in which the manta is to get something for nothing is highly acceptable. The whimsical story line is fast-paced as everyone inside of Mia’s circle wonders if she selling drugs or her body. Fans who enjoy something different but magical will want to read Mia’s BREAKING THE BANK as the “fortune cookie” ATM wisely advises the heroine on spending her unearned loot.