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If You Want to Make God Laugh

A Novel
Written by: Bianca Marais
Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the beloved Hum If You Don't Know the Words comes a rich, unforgettable story of three unique women in post-Apartheid South Africa who are brought together in their darkest time and discover the ways that love can transcend the strictest of boundaries.

In a squatter camp on the outskirts of Johannesburg, 17-year-old Zodwa lives in desperate poverty, under the shadowy threat of a civil war and a growing AIDS epidemic. Eight months pregnant, Zodwa carefully guards secrets that jeopardize her life. 

Across the country, wealthy socialite Ruth appears to have everything her heart desires, but it's what she can't have that leads to her breakdown. Meanwhile, in Zaire, a disgraced former nun, Delilah, grapples with a past that refuses to stay buried. When these personal crises send both middle-aged women back to their rural hometown to heal, the discovery of an abandoned newborn baby upends everything, challenging their lifelong beliefs about race, motherhood, and the power of the past. 

As the mystery surrounding the infant grows, the complicated lives of Zodwa, Ruth, and Delilah become inextricably linked. What follows is a mesmerizing look at family and identity that asks: How far will the human heart go to protect itself and the ones it loves?

©2019 Bianca Marais (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"Lovely....Marais showcases her talent for pulling beauty from the pain of South African history with a strong story and wonderfully imperfect characters." (Publishers Weekly)

"A moving portrait of the choices women can make - and the ones we can't. Beautifully crafted and powerfully drawn, this book had me in tears." (Jill Santopolo, best-selling author of The Light We Lost and More Than Words)

"A story of three remarkable women at crossroads in their own lives against the backdrop of South Africa at the moment of stunning transformation that will keep you reading late into the night. Marais deftly completes a writer's hat trick, leaving you gutted, smiling through tears and soaring with hope." (Steven Rowley, best-selling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor

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Incredible

Another amazing book by Bianca Marais. Wow.
The story of 3 strong but very human African women facing heartbreaking circumstances. I began this book without pre-reading the story line, and I'm glad I did. Trust the in the author, and just read the book.
The three narrators were incredible too. This is definitely one story that I will listen to again.