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 entirely fabulous . . . 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 error and turns darker at each hairpin turn.
It's the summer season of 2015, Brooklyn. the town is sweltering from one other record-breaking warmth wave, this one followed through 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, become aware of 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 woman sexual enhancement capsule) than for her level paintings, discovers petite Russian lady, a runaway au pair, has been secretly residing in her visitor room closet. whilst the police arrest the intruder, they discover a moment mushroom, additionally gleaming, below the intruder's bedding. quickly the HAZMAT squad arrives, and the 4 girls are compelled to evacuate the tainted row apartment with in basic terms the garments on their backs.
because the mildew infestation spreads from row condominium to high-rise, and anxious, bewildered New Yorkers wait out this plague (is it an act of God?) on their urban and estate, the 4 girls develop into stuck up in a centrifugal nightmare.
half horror tale, half screwball comedy, Jill Ciment's exceptional suspense novel appears 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 singular approximately love (familial and profound) and the way it may look from the main not going situations.
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Extra resources for Act of God
It wasn't until I came down here that I learned that I could fight back. That I could win. The rift taught me that, and now Ballard has too— "Thank you," Clarke whispers, and hits Ballard hard in the face. Ballard goes over backwards, collides with a table. Clarke calmly steps forward. She catches a glimpse of herself in a glass icicle; her capped eyes seem almost luminous. "Oh Jesus," Ballard whimpers. " Clarke stands over her. "Don't be," she says. She sees herself as some sort of exploding schematic, each piece neatly labeled.
She goes sprawling out into the corridor. One arm smacks painfully against a cluster of pipes as she falls. She rolls to one side and raises her arms to protect herself. But Ballard just steps over her and stalks into the lounge. I'm not afraid, Clarke notes, getting to her feet. She hit me, and I'm not afraid. Isn't that odd— From somewhere nearby, the sound of shattering glass. Ballard's shouting in the lounge. "The experiment's over! " Clarke follows the corridor, steps out of it. Pieces of the lounge mirror hang like great jagged stalactites in their frame.
If Ballard doesn't want her to see what she's reading, she could just use those. But then she wouldn't see me coming... "I think maybe it was a Ziphiid," Ballard's saying. "A beaked whale. Except it had too many teeth. Very rare. " Clarke listens, not really interested. " Ballard's voice is slightly raised. She looks almost furtively at STARFISH 37 PETER W ATTS something on the other side of the lounge. " "I mean, in all the ocean, something that big just happening to drop out of the sky a few hundred meters away.