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Authors: Yona Zeldis McDonough

You Were Meant For Me

Praise for the Novels
of Yona Zeldis McDonough

You Were Meant for Me

“Intriguing, beautifully told, and keeps you guessing right to the last pages.”

—Sue Margolis, author of
Best Supporting Role

“Another engrossing page-turner from an author who warms your heart even as she's breaking it.”

—Toby Devens, author of
Happy Any Day Now

“McDonough weaves her heartfelt story with a deft touch and delivers such quirky, endearing characters that you'll wish they lived in your own neighborhood.”

—Holly Robinson, author of
The Wishing Hill
and
Beach Plum Island

“A heartfelt, perfectly paced, and deeply satisfying story that explores the beauty and tenacity of love in all its forms.”

—Susan Meissner, author of
A Fall of Marigolds

“Abounding with warmth and charm,
You Were Meant for Me
is a profoundly moving novel that explores the intensity of love and the fallout of heartbreak. It will capture your attention from the very first page and never let go.”

—Emily Liebert, author of
When We Fall

Written by today's freshest new talents and selected by New American Library, NAL Accent novels touch on subjects close to a woman's heart, from friendship to family to finding our place in the world. The Conversation Guides included in each book are intended to enrich the individual reading experience, as well as encourage us to explore these topics together—because books, and life, are meant for sharing.

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Two of a Kind

“Beautiful and heartfelt. If you've ever longed for a second—or third—chance, this book's for you.”

—Camille Noe Pagán, author of
The Art of Forgetting

“A sumptuous romantic feast. Hilarious and heartwarming.”

—Adriana Trigiani,
New York Time
s bestselling author of
The Supreme Macaroni Company

“McDonough crafts a complex romantic tale of two families, skillfully developing multidimensional characters. . . . Readers will delight in this layered tale of friendship and love.”

—
Publishers Weekly

“Honest and engrossing, this novel explores the intricacies of unexpected attraction, falling in love after losing a spouse, and combining two resistant families. The characters are complex and captivating, adding depth to an already engaging plot, which culminates in a surprising twist. Four and a half stars.”

—
Romantic Times

“Every now and then I stumble upon a truly delightful piece of women's fiction.
Two of a Kind
falls into that category . . . a one of a kind tale.”

—Fresh Fiction

A Wedding in Great Neck

“A touching, airy novel that manages to meld the concerns of family members spanning four generations into a delightfully well-written story. Readers who enjoy Mary Kay Andrews and Nora Roberts will relate to the Silverstein family as it embraces the deep wells of emotion that seem to surface only at major family events. With an authorial voice that switches deftly between impulsive teen-speak and a stately matriarch's flashbacks, McDonough's skill is to be commended. A tender, clever story with emotional heft.”

—
Booklist

“In prose as sparkling as a champagne toast, McDonough's delicious new novel gathers together one extraordinary wedding and two complicated families, and then shows how a single day can change everything. A funny, moving look at the bonds of love, the ties of family, and the yearning for happily ever after.”

—Caroline Leavitt,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Is This Tomorrow

“McDonough limns the ups and downs of family life with a grace that brings to mind Cathleen Schine at her best. . . . A wise and witty novel from an author at the top of her form.”

—Megan McAndrew, author of
Dreaming in French

“Emotional and evocative, hilarious and harrowing 
. . .
a must read for every mother and daughter who've ever dreamed of, fought over, and loved each other through a wedding day.”

—Pamela Redmond Satran,
New York Times
bestselling author of
The Possibility of You

“Spirited, entertaining, and a delight to read . . . a penetrating glimpse into the lives of one particular family, with its myriad shifting alliances, disappointments, and secrets.”

—Lucy Jackson, author of
Posh

“A playful yet touching parsing of the tugs and tangles of familial bonds. This breezy novel offers the reader graceful writing while exploring contemporary suburban turf with an anthropologist's sharp eye.”

—Sally Koslow, author of
Slouching Toward Adulthood:
Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest

“Yona Zeldis McDonough is a born storyteller. . . .
Wedding
is a page-turner.”

—Laura Jacobs, author of
Women About Town

“With her trademark wit and keen eye, Yona Zeldis McDonough has created a confection that is not only a page-turner but a poignant view of family life.”

—Adriana Trigiani

“An interesting take on the wedding novel that doesn't place the bride and groom at the center. Fans of women's fiction about weddings and family drama are sure to enjoy.”

—
Library Journal

A
LSO BY
Y
ONA
Z
ELDIS
M
C
D
ONOUGH

Two of a Kind

A Wedding in Great Neck

NAL Accent

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 375 Hudson Street,

New York, New York 10014

USA | Canada | UK | Ireland | Australia | New Zealand | India | South Africa | China

penguin.com

A Penguin Random House Company

First published by NAL Accent, an imprint of New American Library,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Copyright © Yona Zeldis McDonough, 2014

Conversation Guide copyright © Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 2014

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA:

McDonough, Yona Zeldis.

You were meant for me / Yona Zeldis McDonough.

pages cm

ISBN 978-0-698-15655-5

1. Single women—Fiction. 2. Foundlings—Fiction. 3. Foster parents—Fiction.
4. Birthparents—Fiction. 5. Domestic fiction. I. Title.

PS3613.C39Y77 2014

813'.6—dc23 2014016941

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Version_1

Contents

Praise

Also by YONA ZELDIS M
C
DONOUGH

Title page

Copyright page

Dedication

Acknowledgments

 

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

CHAPTER THIRTY

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

EPILOGUE

 

About the Author

Conversation Guide

To my dear friend Patricia Grossman,
for sharing the story that inspired this
novel

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

For sharing their intelligence, insight, and expertise, I would like to thank Sally Schloss, Sophia Seidner, Marian Thurm, and Dan Turbow. Special thanks go to my always patient but eagle-eyed editor, Tracy Bernstein, and to Judith Ehrlich, whose creativity, passion, and devotion make her a rare gem among
agents.

S
he wove her way—dizzily, giddily even—along the deserted boardwalk. At this hour, everything was shuttered and still; the cold March wind gusted around her, whipping her hair—peroxided almost white, somewhat darker blond roots sprouting at the scalp—into a frenzy. After the hideous ordeal of the last few hours, she felt blissfully light and free, as if she might actually levitate. Of course, her recent chemical infusion—chemical infusion, she liked the sound of that phrase and congratulated herself on having come up with it—was contributing to her euphoria. But that didn't matter. A high was a high was a high. So what if she ached in ways she had not known it was possible to ache or that blood was still oozing down the insides of her thighs? No one would ever know; that was all behind her now.

She touched her fingers to the metal railing, glazed and slick from the rain that had only just stopped falling. But it was cold, so she pulled her hand away and kept moving. Bits of trash—grease-filmed food wrappers, empty soda cups—were lifted in the air when the wind blew and then dropped down again. She came to a bench on which sat a wet paper bag, its red and white stripes spotlighted by the streetlamp above. Reaching for the bag, she opened it to find the remains of someone's meal: bacon cheeseburger, French fries in a sticky
pool of ketchup. Suddenly, she was ravenous. When was the last time she had eaten? She flopped down on the bench and devoured the food. Had anything ever tasted so good? When it was gone, she was still hungry and began to look around. A brimming garbage can stood nearby, and right on top, as if waiting for her, was a brown bag, this one not even wet, precariously perched on the mound. Inside she found an almost-f container of coffee, cold, of course, but so what? It was light, sweet, and tasted like pure milky heaven as it went down. Next to that was an untouched jelly doughnut. She inhaled it and then licked her fingers, the mingled taste of salt, oil, and powdered sugar unimaginably delicious.

She slowed when she came to an opening in the railing. Beyond that opening lay the empty beach. How desolate it looked. And how beautiful. Veering onto the sand, which was packed and hard from the rain, she made her way toward the water's edge. The black, foam-tipped waves rose, crested, and crashed onto the shore, wetting the tips of her boots and spraying her shins.

She smiled; the sea was playing with her, inviting her to play back. Humming a little, she danced around the shoreline, feet getting wetter and wetter, until she knelt, unzipped her boots, and then kicked them off entirely. The humming stopped. There was the cold, stinging shock of the water and coarse, gritty sand, but it was a good cold, a bracing, cleansing cold.

She lifted her arms to the sky. Her hands were hidden by the sleeves of her purple down coat; the coat, which she'd spied hanging from a hook in a restaurant and helped herself to, was way too big for her, but she had been drawn by the color—lurid, hideous even—and wore it anyway. She wished
she still had that other coat, the camel hair with the fitted princess seams, velvet collar, and buttons like pieces of melted butterscotch. Where was it now anyway? She had thought it prissy at the time, but now she regretted its loss. The luxurious softness of it. The warmth.

A big wave came and soaked her to the waist. The sea was getting more insistent now, its call more urgent. Come in, it seemed to say. Come in. She waded farther out. The cold was punishing, but also invigorating; she welcomed it like purification, a baptism. Infants were baptized. . . . No. Don't think of that. Don't. But thought was stubborn, and she thrashed around in the water, trying to escape it. The next wave swelled. This one was the biggest of all, rising in a great, undulant curve. It lifted her high before it broke—and then sucked her cleanly
under.

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