Published by Orenda Books – July 9th 2020
Today is my stop on the tour for The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith!
This tour has been organised by Anne Cater and Orenda Books – thanks for my review copy!
Decades of spiralling drug resistance have unleashed a global antibiotic crisis. Ordinary infections are untreatable: a scratch from a pet can kill. A sacrifice is required to keep the majority safe: no one over seventy is allowed new antibiotics. The elderly are sent to hospitals nicknamed ‘The Waiting Rooms.’ Hospitals where no one ever gets well.
Twenty years after the crisis takes hold, Kate begins a search for her birth mother, armed only with her name and her age. As Kate unearths disturbing facts about her mother’s past, she puts her family in danger and risks losing everything.
Because Kate is not the only secret that her birth mother is hiding. Someone else is looking for her, too.
Sweeping from an all-too-real modern world to a pre-crisis South Africa, The Waiting Rooms is epic in scope, richly populated with unforgettable characters, and a tense, haunting vision of a future that is only a few mutations away.
Sufficiently creepy, Eve Smith’s debut novel is quite the achievement. In one fell swoop she has created a narrative around a very real issue and totally blown it up to create an engaging and thought-provoking book.
I think the writing was easy going (my favourite kind) – despite using medical and scientific terms I managed to follow along just fine! The story seamlessly weaves together narratives from different perspectives, between pre-crisis and during crisis and Smith manages this with ease which is no mean feat. Although I found the narrative to be a bit of a slow burn, it definitely grew and grew making sure I paid attention to everything that was going on with the protagonists.
The world Smith has created (a real possibility according to the facts) is suspiciously realistic. At the end of the novel Smith includes some facts about antibiotics which throws the novel into some perspective against reality – I would like to say I’ve gone away and read all her resources but I haven’t yet – I’m too creeped out! If YOU want to read up about however, you can find Eve’s website here. The detail Smith has included in her narrative is refreshing – showing she has put a lot of time and effort in to her research and using it well within her writing.
After I finished reading I had a think and decided it’s pretty hard to put this book into a singular genre. There was mystery and thriller aspects, obviously a bit of medical thrown in and a pinch of some sci-fi, not to mention some romantic and family drama! A little bit of action would have helped to move the story along and add some excitement but then it may have lost some of it’s realism.
Overall – Enjoyable but for me, just missing something!