Sunday, July 12, 2020

Orenda Books Book Tour - The Waiting Rooms

TITLE: The Waiting Rooms
AUTHOR: Eve Smith
PUBLISHER: Orenda Books
PUBLISHING DATE: June 12, 2020


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.

Considering all that is going on in the world right now, it may not have been the best time to pick up this book.  However, Orenda Books hasn't disappointed me yet so I figured why not?  I'm glad I did because this thriller was a great way to immerse myself in other people's problems and ignore the reality of today - at least for a little while.

The book has multiple POVs  taking place in both Africa and Britain, with dual timelines.  Kate is a headstrong woman looking for her birth mother.  Lily is an elderly woman in a care faciity,  And finally, Mary is a scientist working in South Africa.  At the root of the tale is the premise that antibiotic resistance has finally become a reality and elderly individuals over the age of 70 are allowed new antibiotics in order to try to save the rest of the population.  Does this sound all too familiar?  Yes.  And have we been told for years that antibiotics are being over prescribed?  Yes again.

Smith has created an intense tale where people's rights, medical care and politics all play an important role.  I must admit that I always have a soft spot for the elderly and I found Lily to be a very endearing character.  Her life awaiting her 70th birthday and knowing what would then happen became on of my biggest concerns as I was reading.  I was also wanting the best for Kate and was terrified about where the search for her mother would finally lead her.

Overall, The Waiting Rooms is a great speculative, dystopian read which hits all too close to home here in 2020.  I am sure Smith did a vast amount of research to put this story together and in my opinion, her hard work paid off.  If reading something like this doesn't scare you, then you aren't paying attention!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eve Smith’s debut novel The Waiting Rooms was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize First Novel Award and selected as a Book of the Month by Eric Brown at The Guardian just after launch. 

Eve writes speculative fiction, mainly about the things that scare her. She attributes her love of all things dark and dystopian to a childhood watching Tales of the Unexpected and black-and-white Edgar Allen Poe double bills. 

Eve’s flash fiction has been shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award and highly commended for The Brighton Prize. In this world of questionable facts, stats and news, she believes storytelling is more important than ever to engage people in real life issues.

Eve recently contributed a piece of flash fiction, Belting Up, to an anthology of crime shorts called Noir From the Bar. The collection of stories has been launched to raise money for the NHS.
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. A Modern Languages graduate from Oxford, she returned to Oxfordshire fifteen years ago to set up home with her husband.

When she’s not writing, she’s racing across fields after her dog, attempting to organise herself and her family or off exploring somewhere new.

Follow Eve: @evecsmith on Twitter &
Instagram: evesmithauthor
Facebook: EveSmithAuthor


  1. Your having great luck with this publisher, I need to check them out!

  2. This does sound scary! Actually, now is a good time read a story about anything other than a viral outbreak, so I'll definitely consider this😁

  3. Dystopian books like this one are always a bit scary, aren't they? I'm adding this one to my TBR. :)

  4. This actually sounds great, fascinating. I don't read as much dystopian as I would like. Excellent review!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  5. I love the sound of this. And antibiotic resistance is a terrifying prospect- I'm glad to see someone wrote a good story about it. :)

  6. Huge thanks for the blog tour support xx

  7. This is possibly the most apt book for our times, but you're right, it's not necessarily the best time to be reading it. It's a premise I can understand and am more than a little afraid of if I am honest.