MRS. LILIENBLUM'S CLOUD FACTORY
Astra House, 2024
Three days after Sarai Lilienblum, a high school robotics teacher, mysteriously disappears, her son Eli receives a message: your mother was found, sunbathing in the middle of the desert, wearing a burgundy robe, with a martini glass in her hand. No one knows where she’s been, and she refuses to say.
The confusion increases when a video from the three days of her absence pops up online. Sarai is in the desert testing an invention of hers, a device that turns sand into clouds at the touch of a button. The viral video leads to an offer from one of the world's most successful tech entrepreneurs -- $20 million if the cloud machine can make it rain.
From the remote town where she lives, Sarai founds a startup company that generates international interest after her video is seen around the world. If she succeeds, she will solve the global water crisis. If she fails, she’ll have drained her family’s bank accounts. Eli is dragged into the venture together with his older sister, all the while trying to find out what really happened those three days his mother disappeared.
Mrs. Lilienblum's Cloud Factory is a funny, satirical, and contemporary novel about the tech world and those who remain outside its gates, the climate crisis and the “Startup Nation,” the polarization between rural and urban communities. It’s a story about a woman who dares to challenge the social conventions that have stifled her dreams, and a son who does everything to keep his family from falling apart.
US: Astra House; China: Thinkingdom Media; The Netherlands: Signatuur; Israel: Kinneret Zmora Bitan (July 2023); Polish: Znak