Decades of spiralling drug resistance have unleashed a global antibiotic crisis. Ordinary infections are untreatable, and 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 mother is hiding. Someone else is looking for her, too.
Sweeping from an all-too-real modern Britain 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.
Happy Wednesday, my favourite day because it’s half-way to the weekend! I’m bringing you a rewind Wednesday post back to a May release, in the shape of The Waiting Rooms written by Eve Smith and published by publishing extraordinaires Orenda Books (obviously, it’s Orentober after all!)! I want to thank Karen for kindly sending me and emergency ecopy of this unsettling dystopian. The Waiting Rooms was the last book I read before the country went into lockdown, and my gosh I am glad that I read it then because the eerie plausibility was frightening! This book has received such high praise from the book community and was even included on the possible longlisters of the Not Booker Prize this year! The Waiting Rooms became available on paperback the 14th of May and electronically the 14th of March, you can grab yourself a copy here!
I started this dystopian on a Saturday afternoon, before a pandemic had been made a pandemic and it horrified me then, now in our times I see it as a fictional masking of a very relevant message, one that adds to the fearful theme sewn throughout The Waiting Rooms. Eve has created a stunningly written pandemic feel dystopian, one that is both harrowing and emotive in theme and execution. This is a plausible tale of antibiotic resistance crisis that arises due to the human populations reliance upon antibiotics causing diseases or issues that once could be treated easily have now become more difficult, creating a higher death toll. Small infections are feared, childbirth statistics dropped due to fear of infection and an age of a patient could come between themselves and treatment. Where patients over a certain age are sacrificed for those who are deemed as healthier and more worthy of survival. Although, as a reader you’re aware that this tale that Eve has weaved is of a fictional nature, as you delve into the information that she has researched into, that is when you realise that The Waiting Rooms could be one of the most realistic dystopian that you have ever read. A poignant read that entangles a medical tale with a more personal, heartfelt one will give you goosebumps and keep your heart tied to the characters that crop up throughout.
The Waiting Rooms is a superbly written novel that spans a twenty year time frame and thousands of miles from South Africa to Great Britain, one that revolves around grief, forgiveness and a possible medical future. The uneasy theme that echoes throughout the pages of this debut will hold your attention, like watching a train crash of humanity in slow motion. This novel shocked me, it sobered me and it gave me all the goosebumps that great books always do. For me The Waiting Rooms is one of the best dystopian reads that I have had the pleasure of reading, this book is going to be huge, it’s a book that will stay with me – haunt me – and one I will scream about from the rooftops.
Thanks for checking in to todays Rewind Wednesdays, make sure to tune in tomorrow for a special Q&A with Eve! Have you read this chilling dystopian? Make sure to share your thoughts / reviews / book pictures on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Orentober – I can’t wai8t to check them out!
Until next time,