Act of God by Jill Ciment

By Jill Ciment

Jill Ciment's books were hailed as "stunning," "powerful," and "provocative." Alice Sebold has referred to as her works "beautifully written." Now the writer of Heroic Measures ("Smart and humorous and fully remarkable . . . I enjoyed each page." -Ann Patchett; "Brave, beneficiant, approximately perfect." -Los Angeles Times) has given us a latest noir novel that starts off out a comedy of blunders and turns darker at each hairpin turn.

It's the summer time of 2015, Brooklyn. town is sweltering from one other record-breaking warmth wave, this one followed via biblical rains. Edith, a lately retired felony librarian, and her exact dual sister, Kat, a feckless romantic who's unsuitable her personal eccentricity for originality, observe anything ominous of their corridor closet: it kind of feels to be phosphorescent, it's a mushroom . . . and it's sprouting from their wall.

Upstairs, their landlady, Vida Cebu, a Shakespearian actress way more well-known for her television ads for Ziberax (the first lady sexual enhancement tablet) than for her degree paintings, discovers petite Russian woman, a runaway au pair, has been secretly residing in her visitor room closet. while the police arrest the intruder, they discover a moment mushroom, additionally gleaming, lower than the intruder's bedding. quickly the HAZMAT squad arrives, and the 4 girls are compelled to evacuate the tainted row condo with purely the garments on their backs.

because the mildew infestation spreads from row residence to high-rise, and apprehensive, bewildered New Yorkers wait out this plague (is it an act of God?) on their urban and estate, the 4 girls turn into stuck up in a centrifugal nightmare.

half horror tale, half screwball comedy, Jill Ciment's very good suspense novel seems at what occurs whilst our lives-so doubtless set and ordered but so precariously balanced-break down within the wake of calamity. it's, to boot, a unique approximately love (familial and profound) and the way it might probably seem from the main not likely situations.

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01 22 3/12/03 9:39 AM Page 22 NEAL STEPHENSON rectly at the flames. Looking off to the sides was more interesting anyway: the table-land was marked at wide intervals by the largest buildings he had ever seen, cracker-box structures built by Pharaohs, and in the mile-wide plazas between them, gnomons of triangulated steel were planted in wide stances: the internal skeletons of pyramids. The largest of these pierced the center of a perfectly circular railway line a few hundred feet in diameter: two argent curves scored on the dull ground, interrupted in one place where the tower’s shadow, a stopped sundial, told the time.

Steam murmured from valves on the tops of the tanks, but instead of rising into the air it dribbled down the sides and struck the ground and spread out, coating the sea-grass with jackets of silver. A thousand sailors in white were standing in a ring around the long flame. One of them held up his hand and waved Lawrence down. Lawrence came to a stop next to the sailor and planted one foot on the sand to steady himself. ”Then the sailor seemed to make up his mind about something. He saluted Lawrence through, and pointed him towards a small building off to the side of the fire.

Avi said. The number came through on Randy’s pager while he was sitting around a table in a grubhouse along the coast with his girlfriend’s crowd. A place where, every day, they laser-printed fresh menus on 100% recycled imitation parchment, where oscilloscope tracings of neon-colored sauces scribbled across the plates, and the entrees were towering, architectonic stacks of rare ingredients carved into gemlike prisms. Randy had spent the entire meal trying to resist the temptation to invite one of Charlene’s friends (any one of them, it didn’t matter) out on the sidewalk for a fistfight.

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