Cover Image for When the Apricots Bloom

Under the rule of a ruthless dictator in a country on the brink of war, three women will risk everything to protect what matters most.

When the Apricots Bloom

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Inspired by her own experiences while stationed in Baghdad during Saddam Hussein's rule, former foreign correspondent Gina Wilkinson's evocative debut is told through the eyes of three very different women in Iraq at the turn of the millennium. A secretary, an artist and a diplomat’s wife, each must confront the complexities of trust, friendship, and motherhood under the rule of a dictator and his ruthless secret police…

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 if she refuses. Nor does she know that Ally has dangerous secrets of her own.

Also fighting to keep her child safe is Rania, Huda’s former friend. 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.

Through two decades of living in hotspots across the globe, I’ve found that while we might pray in a certain way, cover our hair or not, bake our bread flat or leavened, at heart we all want the same things—safety, peace, love. We share far more in common than that which divides us. I hope this book shows that.”―Gina Wilkinson

Each winner will also receive special extras inspired by the book!

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Delayed Ship Date for Winners: January 14th, 2021


Gina Wilkinson

Gina Wilkinson is an award-winning journalist, author, former foreign correspondent, and documentary maker who's reported from some of the world's most intriguing and perilous places for the BBC, NPR, ABC, and other renowned public broadcasters. During two decades living and working in hotspots across the globe, she spent more than a year in Baghdad under Saddam Hussein. At that time, Iraq was virtually sealed off from the outside world, and Gina lived under tight surveillance. One of her closest Iraqi friends even worked as a secret police informant, reporting on her every move. Gina now works in international development, supporting efforts to end poverty in the developing world. She lives in Australia.

Book Details

Publisher Kensington Publishing Corp.
Genre Literary Fiction
Publication Date Feb 02 2021
ISBN 9781496729354


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