The Waiting Rooms

Front Cover
Orenda Books Limited, Apr 9, 2020 - Fiction - 300 pages

Swinging from South Africa to England: one woman’s hunt for her birth mother in an all-too-believable near future in which an antibiotic crisis has decimated the population. A prescient, thrilling debut.

‘STUNNING and terrifying ... The Waiting Rooms wrenches your heart in every way possible, but written with such humanity and emotion’ Miranda Dickinson

‘Chillingly close to reality, this gripping thriller brims with authenticity ... a captivating, accomplished and timely debut from an author to watch’ Adam Hamdy

‘Gripping and disturbing ... the medical research is convincing, the scenarios plausible, and the story is emotionally engaging. This is an incredible debut!’ Gill Paul

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.

‘Engrossing and eye-opening, with heart-stopping plot twists ... a stunning medical thriller set in a terrifying possible future’ Foreword Reviews

‘A touching, gutwrenching story of family mystery and tragedy ... a thriller that punches on two fronts – heart AND mind’ The Sun

‘If the themes are dark and topical, the writing is exquisite. Breath held, I got to the finale with my heart in my mouth. Eve Smith weaves a complex and clever tale, merging countries and timelines; the result is a superb and satisfying novel’ Louise Beech

‘Margaret Atwood is one of my all-time writing heroes and The Handmaid's Tale is probably the best book I’ve ever read. Eve Smith and The Waiting Rooms really do challenge that long-held crown...’ Random Things through My Letterbox

‘Thoroughly engaging ... an eye-opening read’ Crime Fiction Lover

‘A novel of our times’ Trip Fiction

‘Almost hypnotising’ On-the-Shelf Reviews

‘Haunting, honest and horrifying in its reality ... An epic and thrilling read’ Book Literati

‘Set in an extraordinary landscape – dystopian and frightening – but it deals with age-old issues’ Booksplainer

‘My emotions ranged from horror to compassion to sadness while reading this gripping, well-told story...’ Suidi’s Book Reviews

‘A book that will stay with me – haunt me’ The Reading Closet

‘A stunning debut’ Cal Turner Book Reviews

‘Her work portrays an essence of Margaret Atwood and George Orwell’ Reviewer No 9

‘Stunning dystopian debut. A prescient and alarming tale that seems just a whisper from reality’ Suzy Apsley

The Waiting Rooms will certainly distract us from the real world for a few hours and this is the immeasurable value of fiction’ Die Burger

’A seriously impressive debut, a novel that is intuitive and chilling, one that will resonate with all in this current climate’ Swirl & Thread

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About the author (2020)

Eve Smith 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. 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 twenty 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. 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 romping across fields after her dog, trying to organise herself and her family or off exploring somewhere new.
Follow Eve on Twitter: @evecsmith