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Extended Audio Sample Act of God: A Novel, by Jill Ciment Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jill Ciment Narrator: Barbara Rosenbla Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the author of Heroic Measures comes a contemporary noir novel that starts out a comedy of errors and becomes darker at every hairpin turn. Act of God is about a lethal form of mold spreading throughout New York City, about the townhouse in which it’s first discovered, and the people living in it whose lives are suddenly upended.

Brooklyn, 2015. The city is sweltering from another record-breaking heat wave, this one accompanied by biblical rains. Edith, a recently retired legal librarian, and her identical twin sister Kat, a feckless romantic who’s mistaken her own eccentricity for originality, discover something ominous in their hall closet: it seems to be phosphorescent; it’s a mushroom … and it’s sprouting from their wall.

Upstairs, their landlady Vida Cebu, a Shakespearian actress far more famous for her television commercials for Ziberax (the first female sexual enhancement pill) than for her stage work, discovers that a petite Russian girl, a runaway au pair, has been secretly living in her guest-room closet. When the police arrest the intruder, they find a second mushroom glowing under the intruder’s bedding. Soon the HAZMAT squad arrives, and the four women are forced to evacuate the contaminated row house with only the clothes on their backs.

As the mold infestation spreads from row house to high-rise, and as frightened, bewildered New Yorkers wait out this plague (is it an act of God?) on their city and property, the four women become caught up in a centrifugal nightmare.

Part horror story, part screwball comedy, Jill Ciment’s brilliant suspense novel looks at what happens when our lives—so seemingly set and ordered, yet so precariously balanced—break down in the wake of calamity. Act of God is also a novel about familial love—and how it can appear from the most unlikely circumstances.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In this swiftly paced, niftily written comedy turned horror novel, even the most settled lives are upended, the tiniest character flaws come back to bite, and love and redemption arrive when you least expect them.”


  • “Ciment’s nightmare-comedy reads like an urbane spin on the Book of Job, written in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A compact, droll farce, light-hearted and pleasurable as a chocolate truffle, yet with a nugget of hard, somewhat unpalatable truths in the center…Interweaving plotlines are so nimbly handled that every development seems simultaneously unpredictable, yet organically predetermined.”

    Locus magazine

  • “Her two final scenes mingle horror, humor, and tenderness as they lead us toward a final image that perfectly captures the damaged grandeur of the human condition.”

    Daily Beast

  • “Humanity, warmth, and wry humor light up Ciment’s noirish novel…This absorbing novel about a luminescent fungus affixes itself to your psyche like a spore and quickly spreads to your heart, setting everything in its wake aglow.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Barbara Rosenblat is an outstanding performer. Here she uses varied tones and pitches to reflect four quirky but strong women…Rosenblat’s delivery is well paced and convincing as she assumes a voice for each character. Listeners will enjoy the way she projects the appealing personalities Ciment has created. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
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