“The most impressive trick of this book – and it is a very good one – is the way Mitchell pulls off a literary thriller that is as suspenseful as it is introspective.” - The Globe and Mail
When you spend your life saving others...who will be there to save you?
When tragedy erupts on a stifling summer night, three ordinary people, with the extraordinary jobs of rescuing strangers, are connected to one another in ways both explicit and invisible. Each is deeply devoted to what they do, but they are all beginning to crack under the immense pressures of their work.
Tough-as-nails Kate, when she's not working with her beloved search-and-rescue dog, Zeus, is a trauma nurse who spends her off-duty hours trying to forget what she has seen. Estranged from her troubled family, she must confront the fact that resolution may elude her forever. Respected police officer Mike is on the edge of burnout and sets himself on a downward spiral that may be impossible to break, fraying the bonds of love that hold his family together. Tamara, an agoraphobic 911 dispatcher, who is trying her hardest to remain as calm and emotionless as an automated message, is propelled into the middle of a story that she can't avoid and must enter the world to find out how it ends.
With a city prickling under a heat wave and a hurricane threatening to make landfall, these responders will be forced to make fateful choices that will alter lives. A storm is coming and nobody is prepared.
SHANDI MITCHELL is an author and filmmaker. Her debut novel, Under This Unbroken Sky, was simultaneously published by Penguin Canada, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (UK), and HarperCollins (US) in August 2009. It sold in nine countries, including translation rights for Chinese, Hebrew, Dutch, and Italian. Under This Unbroken Sky won the 2010 Commonwealth Regional Prize for First Book (Canada/Caribbean), the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, and the 2012 Kobzar Literary Award. It was also longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Mitchell was born in New Brunswick, raised in Alberta, and now makes her home in Nova Scotia.
Praise for The Waiting Hours:
“The most impressive trick of this book—and it is a very good one—is the way Mitchell pulls off a literary thriller that is as suspenseful as it is introspective.”
—The Globe and Mail
“[A] novel about the triumph of failure . . . such an immersive read . . . I was just drawn into [The Waiting Hours] and could not detach myself from this book . . . her characters are . . . so vivid . . . [the climax is] riveting . . . just amazing.”
—Shelagh Rogers, The Next Chapter, CBC Radio
“A novel that is relatable . . . that anyone could take something away from.”
“[A] novel that seems to strike at the core of what it means to be a first responder. . . . [The Waiting Hours] looks both at emotional and physical loss, and at how people find themselves afterwards." —The Standard
"A propulsive and invigorating book. The strange, difficult work of frontline workers will be fascinating and unfamiliar territory to most readers, but the rich inner lives and emotional fractures of Mitchell's characters are painfully -beautifully-recognizable."
—Katrina Onstad, author of Everybody has Everything