The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky

The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky
The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky


Today has been the best day! We are in the homestretch of the school year and literally dragging ourselves towards the finish line (largely because my kids thought it would be great fun to cram in a little last-minute croup — who does that?!) Most of this week has been spent driving from one special event to the next but today, we got to stay put in one spot and tick off Class Presentation 2 & 3 of 4 with minimal drama even though it was 35 degrees again (that’s 95 Fahrenheit for those playing along at home.) My 2YO sat coated in sunblock and sweat on a bone-dry mound of dirt pushing around his Matchbox cars all afternoon, and though I’ll probably have to bury the white t-shirt he was wearing, it was worth the sacrifice to actually see an entire assembly, not least because my 7YO took out the academic award for his class. I don’t normally crow about my kids’ achievements but this particular child was still struggling to recognize his own name halfway through kindergarten so I’m over the moon at how much he’s progressed in Year One!

And then I came home to book mail — hooray!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard lots of buzz about The Waiting Room and I’m pleased to share that Leah will be appearing on the blog in early 2016. But I’m even more pleased that I now have my very own copy of her book to plough through in the interim! I think there are two camps of stay-at-home parents: ones who dread school holidays and ones who relish them, and I am definitely the latter. Yes, it means tools-down for me writing-wise, but the flip side is I get to read a ton!


Here’s the blurb for The Waiting Room:

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 has 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’ lives, 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.


And here’s the Prologue:

Mother cuts my nails. The clippings fall into her palm and she places them on a tissue, careful not to drop any onto the floor. She folds the tissue in half, then in half again and walks slowly over to the fireplace. She stands two dead matches upright on either side of the hearth, taking her time, so they will not fall.

“Now, throw the tissue into the flames,” she says. “Do not spill a nail or you will have to come back after you are dead. You will roam the earth searching for every nail clipping you have ever lost. You will need to gather up each one, or else you will never rest in the next world.” Mother tells me I’m a good girl.

I watch the tissue burn.


Thanks, Leah — I can’t wait to start reading this. T-minus 6 days!

7 thoughts on “The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Nicole – sounds like an enticing read. Congratulations to your 7yo – huge achievement. I’m curious about your own writing – you’re so generous in sharing other women’s writing and I have no idea what you’re working on! What’s your work in progress? And yes, I agree – definitely less writing time in the school holidays but the leisure (and the chaos!) makes up for it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Karen! WRT my own writing, I have a poetry manuscript in the finals for several first book contests in the U.S. (there are some poems on my personal website – link in bio), a picture book manuscript ready for submission, and a novel I recently finished last-stage revisions on, which will now rest on my desk all summer with a view to reading one more time with fresh eyes before I begin pitching. So, multiple genres but all my writing explores relationships between / representations of women and / or neurodiversity & disability. My 5th son starts preschool in Feb so I’ll have 2 dedicated work days for the first time in 11 years, although I am very much looking forward to a nice summer break with all my boys first! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, now I know what you’re writing! This year my youngest started school so I had a lot more writing time – and it was wonderful. Good luck with your manuscript submissions and enjoy the holidays with your boys.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve just started ‘The Waiting Room’, too! Must support these doctors who write!

    I’m like you about school holidays—I love the no routine, no pressure, and especially summer when they can just run around half-naked and spend most of the day in water! Enjoy your holidays, and look forward to that half-elation, half-empty feeling of coming home to a quiet house and a day to yourself when your youngest starts school!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, fun – we can compare notes! Gut reaction is I’m surprised by the voice. I expected a heavier, more meandering tone but instead it’s rather punchy and — based on a quick flick through random passages — even comical in parts. I’m really excited to read the whole thing!
      I hope you guys enjoy your holidays, too. Looking forward to seeing your summertime photographs! x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh yes, lots of great buzz about this book. I read the book Leah wrote with the Damiani family, Cracking the Code about their search for a diagnosis of their son’s rare condition, and it was riveting. What a talent!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are all so kind! Thanks for the incredible support for The Waiting Room. My kids are older now (range from 16-22) but I still love the ‘no rush’ of summer hols. Catching up on my TBR pile between just hanging out with the kids. Have a lovely New Year!


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