Friday, October 12, 2012

"A Wedding in Great Neck"

Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of the novels A Wedding in Great Neck, Breaking the Bank, In Dahlia's Wake, and The Four Temperaments, as well as nineteen books for children. She is also the editor of two essay collections and is the Fiction Editor at Lilith magazine. Her award-winning short fiction, articles, and essays have been published in anthologies and in numerous national magazines and newspapers. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, two children and three very yappy Pomeranians.

She applied the Page 69 Test to A Wedding in Great Neck and reported the following:
Page 69 of A Wedding in Great Neck is actually an important and even pivotal page. It occurs in the first chapter devoted to Justine, the troubled, teen-aged niece of the bride, Angelica. Justine disapproves of Angelica’s Israeli fiancĂ© Ohad, and she has devised a crazy scheme to ruin the wedding: find the groom, pretend to “seduce” him and show the evidence to her aunt. Page 69 finds her snooping in Angelica’s room and trying to put her plan into action:
All she would need to do would be to show that picture to Angelica and then it would be shalom Ohad. The wedding would be off, and he could go back to bombing Palestinian children or whatever it was that he had been doing before he came here. He would deny it, of course. But it would just be his word against hers. Hers, and the picture. The picture would tell the whole story.

Sitting down on the bed, Justine felt a flash of fear. Over two hundred people were coming here today to see Angelica get married. Then there was her family, her great-grandma Lenore, and Betsy. Her grandfather was coming too; her mom had told her that; he was flying in from LA. They would all be hugely, monumentally disappointed. And what about Angelica herself? She was going to be crushed when she found out about Ohad. Her heart would be broken, and Justine would have been the cause of her misery.

Abruptly, Justine got up. She wouldn’t look at the dress, but she couldn’t resist what seemed like an innocent bit of snooping. It wasn’t snooping, anyway. It was worship, pure and simple. She and Portia had always adored Angelica; yes, she was their aunt, but since she was only thirteen years their senior, she really seemed more like some exotic older cousin or even a glamorous sister than anything else.

Pulling open a drawer, Justine saw a jumble of underwear. She dipped her hand in and pulled out a peach thong, which she looped over her thumb. Well, thongs were hot; why shouldn’t Angelica wear one?
In this scene, we witness not only Justine’s act, but her increasingly agitated state of mind. She does not fully execute the plan in this chapter, but page 69 leads to her another bad decision—stealing her aunt’s wedding ring—an act that has powerful repercussions as the novel progresses. So page 69 sets the reader up nicely for the drama to follow.
Learn more about the author and her work at Yona Zeldis McDonough's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Yona Zeldis McDonough & Queenie, Willa and Holden.

--Marshal Zeringue