Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Breaking the Bank"

Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of the novels The Four Temperaments, In Dahlia's Wake, and Breaking the Bank.

She is also the editor of the essay collections The Barbie Chronicles: A Living Doll Turns Forty and All the Available Light: A Marilyn Monroe Reader. Her short fiction, articles, and essays have been published in anthologies as well as in numerous national magazines, and newspapers.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Breaking the Bank and reported the following:
Page 69 of Breaking the Bank is not necessarily the first page I would suggest to readers, but it is not a bad place to begin either. Mia Saul, the book’s protagonist, has gone out to a bar where her best friend is working. Her ex-husband has come into town and taken their daughter out for the evening; she is feeling lonely and bereft. She drinks a bit too much, and ends up sobbing in the ladies’ room while her friend tries to comfort her. This scene shows the reader a lot about who Mia is, and does a good job of articulating the grief she feels over her husband’s abandonment, her fierce attachment to her daughter, and her tendency to act impulsively and even rashly, especially when upset. All of these traits are important and are further developed as the book unfolds. And all of them have a big impact on what actually happens to Mia in the course of this novel. “Character determines,” plot is an old adage frequently trotted out in fiction writing classes, but I believe it to be true. If the character is fully conceived and well written, her actions will, in a sense determine themselves; she’ll take on a life of her own. That is what I tried to do with Mia, and I hope I have succeeded.
Read an excerpt from Breaking the Bank, and learn more about the author and her work at Yona Zeldis McDonough's website and blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue