Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Waiting Room
by Leah Kaminsky

Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A young doctor in Haifa, Israel, must come to terms with her family’s painful past—and its lingering aftermath—as the conflict between Palestine and Israel reaches its height and the threat of a terrorist attack looms over the city....

Born to two survivors in the smoky after-haze of WWII, Dina has never been able to escape her parents’ history. Tortured by memories of Bergen-Belsen, her mother leaves Dina to inherit her decades of trauma. 

Dina desperately anchors herself in family—a cherished young son, a world-weary husband, and a daughter on the way—and her work as a doctor, but she is struggling to cope, burdened by both the very real anxieties of her daily life and also the shadows of her parents’ ghosts, who follow her wherever she goes. A witty, sensitive narrator, she fights to stay grounded in the here-and-now, even as the challenges of motherhood and medicine threaten to overwhelm her. 



Kritters Thoughts:  Set in a place I have never visited and maybe even in a country that I have never read a fictional tale about - Israel.  This story takes place in a country that is in unrest and you can tell that the characters are not in a steady place.  

Although I am not the biggest fan of ghosts and books with ghosts and spirits, this one was ok because the author presented them as ghosts from page one.  The books that frustrate me is when the reader doesn't know and the author is trying something.  I liked that the reader wasn't left out in the dark and I knew that she was consulting the spirit/ghost of her mom.  

I also loved the setting.  Because I had never visited or read anything in Israel, I liked reading a story here.  Although hard to read, I did enjoy listening to character describe living in a town where a bomb was a threat and they had to always be vigilant about their safety; that feeling is far from what I experience on a daily basis, so hearing a character describe that feeling was so interesting to me.

I did like those things about this book, but overall it was just fine.  There is foreshadowing at the beginning of the book and it gave me enough hints to know where the book was going to end and that disappointed me.  

If you have a particular interest in fiction set in Israel, I would recommend this one.  If you love a book where a character is struggling and gets a visit or two from a spirit/ghost then this one is right up your alley!


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from FSB Associates.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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