The Waiting Room

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.

In taut, compelling prose, The Waiting Room weaves between Dina’s exterior and interior lives, straddling the present and the past—and building towards a profoundly dramatic climax that will remind readers of the fragility of human life even as it reassures them of the inescapable power of love and family.  

My Review

I was very intrigued when I read the summary for this book. I enjoy stories in the WWII era. When I started reading this book I was fine with it. Yet, the more I read I realized that I was more like an outsider attempting to look in. What I mean by this is that I was not connected to Dina or her parents' history. I felt that Dina's voice was monotone. It did not have any energy or was a loud voice. I understand part of this had to do with Dina's struggles but still I tried to find some connection with Dina and the story as a whole but could not. This is one book that did not leave me waiting for more.


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