When the Apricots Bloom

A Novel of Riveting and Evocative Fiction

    • 4.0 • 85 Ratings
    • $9.99
    • $9.99

Publisher Description

“Breathtaking…Riveting and profound! I adored this book!” —Ellen Marie Wiseman, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan Collector
“A deeply involving and important novel by a master storyteller.” —Susan Wiggs, # 1 New York Times bestselling author


In this moving, suspenseful debut novel, three courageous women confront the complexities of trust, friendship, motherhood, and betrayal under the rule of a ruthless dictator and his brutal secret police. Former foreign correspondent Gina Wilkinson draws on her own experiences to take readers inside a haunting story of Iraq at the turn of the millennium and the impossible choices faced by families under a deadly regime.
A BuzzFeed Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Release
A Target Book Club Pick
A Publishers Marketplace Buzz Books Selection

At night, in Huda’s fragrant garden, a breeze sweeps in from the desert encircling Baghdad, rustling the leaves of her apricot trees and carrying warning of visitors at her gate. Huda, a secretary at the Australian embassy, lives in fear of the mukhabarat—the secret police who watch and listen for any scrap of information that can be used against America and its allies. They have ordered her to befriend Ally Wilson, the deputy ambassador’s wife. Huda has no wish to be an informant, but fears for her teenaged son, who may be forced to join a deadly militia. Nor does she know that Ally has dangerous secrets of her own.
Huda’s former friend, Rania, enjoyed a privileged upbringing as the daughter of a sheikh. Now her family’s wealth is gone, and Rania too is battling to keep her child safe and a roof over their heads. As the women’s lives intersect, their hidden pasts spill into the present. Facing possible betrayal at every turn, all three must trust in a fragile, newfound loyalty, even as they discover how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect their families. 
“Vivid…secrets and lies mingle as easily as the scent of apricot blossoms and nargilah smoke. Wilkinson weaves in the miasma of fear and distrust that characterized Hussein’s regime with convincing detail. Richly drawn characters and high-stakes plot.”
Publishers Weekly

Fiction & Literature
February 2
Kensington Books
Kensington Publishing Corp.

Customer Reviews

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I loved this

When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkerson was a heart wrenching, tear jerking history lesson that I wasn’t expecting.

We are introduced to our three main characters, Huda, Ally and Raina who live in Baghdad during the regime of Saddam Hussein. Huda is a former extremely poor girl who has gotten a job at the embassy, and is reached out to by the secret policy to get information from her on her employer Tom and his wife Ally. She can’t refuse, or she’ll be thrown into torture and possibly her family as well. Ally is the wife of a very high ranking embassy employee and has a lot of secrets of her own, that could just put her in peril. Rania is a former close friend of Huda and a rich artist who is hired to paint a portrait of the presidents and his sons... and causes danger for her daughter.

This book was extremely well written. It is a glimpse into the history of Iraq when tensions were extremely high, and regime was extremely strong. I have never read anything from this point of view where we see what the citizens go through and I genuinely enjoyed every second of reading through this book. The ending was shocking, the events were wild, it was one of those books I couldn’t put down. There are some scenes that are slightly graphic in their description as it is very hard to know their struggles were real.

Im giving it a 4.5/5 stars. The beginning was a bit slow, as it was setting up the plot, but it was definitely necessary. I highly recommend checking this out. Its very different from my usual reads, but I really liked it!

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