Morning my lovelies. Today I’ve got a few posts for you starting with a review, on the blog tour of the fabulous debut, The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith. I’m delighted to be one of the closing stops on this tour as this book was captivating, thought-provoking, and scarily accurate to the current world situation with COVID-19……
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.
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Twenty-three years after the crisis, the world is in a dire position. With everyday infections now being resistant to antibiotics, people are dying from things that were treatable in the past. And if you’re over seventy, you don’t stand a chance. With a new government bill bought in many years ago, those over 70 are no longer allowed antibiotic treatment and are sent to ‘The Waiting Rooms’ basically to wait out their end.
Kate knows what it’s like to watch people die; not only has she lost her own family members but she’s a nurse, and she sees it daily. And now she’s decided it’s time to find her birth Mother. But what she doesn’t realise is the danger she could put herself in as she uncovers secrets from her birth Mothers past…….
This was a fantastic novel that kept me completely gripped, and with 2020 bringing us the COVID-19 pandemic, this couldn’t feel any more real. With lockdowns, masks, no handshakes and more, it’s crazy that Smith had written this before lockdown! But the worrying thing about this novel is that the resistance to antibiotics really could happen in the future, and the points raised in this are so true and will get your mind ticking.
I’ve never read a book that had me crying in the first 5%…..but this did! With a sad and harrowing beginning, you can’t help but be sucked in to the story and what’s to come. Told from three different points of view, we hear from Mary, Lily and Kate. Mary’s story takes us back to pre-crisis as she’s in South Africa trying to find plants that will help the pharmaceutical industry. Lily is an 69 year old lady living in an upmarket care home, counting down the days to her 70th birthday. But Lily has secrets that she’s been trying to hide for many years……
I instantly liked Lily, a frail ageing lady whose mind is still relatively sharp but her body is failing her. Her and the other residents of the care home have to live with what becomes of them when they hit their 70th year and it’s so sad. But in reality we do have an ageing population and again, the points mentioned in this story are frighteningly accurate.
Mary is an interesting character and as I learnt more about her I felt so sorry for her and what she has to experience. An intelligent young lady she has a lot of decisions to make and they’re not always the right ones. And Kate is also a strong character who puts up with a lot. Abused because of her job, she has her own issues and searching for her birth Mother opens up things that she never expected.
There is a fantastic mystery in this book, that’s revealed to you as the book progresses. The pace of the story is fantastic and keeps you wanting more, and the ending was satisfying although rather sad. I was moved, shocked and terrified by this book and literally didn’t want to put it down! The one thing I would say is that it may still be slightly early for some people to read this following the incredible losses of the pandemic, but if you can’t read this yet, then once you’re comfortable, I would recommend for the future. For those of you like me who are comfortable with reading it at this time, this is a fantastic gripping book that will feel all too real and plausible.
A fantastic debut from Smith, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Highly recommended by me.
about the author
Eve Smith writes speculative fiction, mainly about the things that scare her.In this world of questionable facts, stats and news, she believes storytelling is more important than ever to engage people in real life issues. Set 20 years after an antibiotic crisis, her debut novel The Waiting Rooms was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize First Novel Award. Her flash fiction has been shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award and highly commended for The Brighton Prize. Eve’s previous job as COO of an environmental charity took her to research projects across Asia, Africa and the Americas, and she has an ongoing passion for wild creatures, wild science and far-flung places.
tour hosted by
Massive thanks to Anne for inviting me on to the tour, and to the Eve and Orenda Books for providing me with a copy of the book in return for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.
I’ll be back soon with more posts!