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The Waiting Room - Leah Kaminsky

Paperback Published: 1st September 2015
ISBN: 9780857986221
Number Of Pages: 304

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Compelling, moving and memorable. Graeme Simsion.

The Waiting Room captures the sights, sounds, accents and animosities of a country overflowing with stories.

Dina is a family doctor living in the melting-pot city of Haifa, Israel. Born in Australia in a Jewish enclave of Melbourne to Holocaust survivors, Dina left behind a childhood marred by misery and the tragedies of the past to build a new life for herself in the Promised Land.

After starting a family of her own, she finds her life falling apart beneath the demands of her eccentric patients, a marriage starting to fray, the ever-present threat of terrorist attack and the ghost of her mother, haunting her with memories that Dina would prefer to leave on the other side of the world.

Leah Kaminsky plumbs the depths of her characters' memories, both the sweet and the heart-wrenching, reaching back in a single climactic day through six decades and across three continents to uncover a truth that could save Dina's sanity – and her life.

About the Author

Leah Kaminsky, an award-winning physician and writer, is Poetry and Fiction Editor at the Medical Journal of Australia. The Waiting Room is her debut novel. It was shortlisted in the Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Writing Competition. She conceived and edited Writer MD, a collection of prominent physician-writers, which starred on Booklist and is co-author of Cracking the Code, with the Damiani family. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Read Caroline Baum's Review:

Leah Kaminsky knows the stress of a doctor’s life: she is one.

This is why her debut novel about a pregnant Israeli GP has such an authentic flavour. We're right there with her as she rushes about her duties, haunted by her persistently present but dead mother and living on high alert, ever vigilant for the next terrorist attack.

The Waiting Room convincingly conveys all the intensity of Israeli everyday life.

Sobering story that should never be lost


I found The Waiting Room a little difficult to navigate initially as the author's character entered into dialogue with the ghost of her mother. Nonetheless a story of man's inhumanity and also human resilience and the will of survival

Flinders View Q 4305


The waiting room of suspense


The Waiting Room traces a day in the life of a very pregnant GP in Israel amidst the drama of bomb threats and a background of waiting room characters. Threaded through that story is the relationship of the GP with her holocaust-victim mother. Once you start this book, it impels you to turn the page, to discover more of the patchwork of Haifa and the events in the day of this ex-patriot GP.



Powerful and moving


Just finished reading, loved it! Not an easy read but beautifully crafted, the author really pulls you in to Dina's story.

Sydney, AU


Loving this


I'm partway through and loving this book -- the world the main character Dina lives in is completely alive on the page (I can see it, smell it, hear it), I feel for her and like her sooo much (she's juggling work as a doctor, family, memories, the stress of being in a dangerous place), and I'm fascinated by the story. The writing is poetic, compelling, enormously empathetic and kind. And for anyone who wrestles with their past, this will strike a chord... It's beautiful, truly. Recommended.



The Waiting Room

4.5 4


ISBN: 9780857986221
ISBN-10: 0857986228
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st September 2015
Publisher: Random House Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.7  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.4
Edition Number: 1

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