Sometimes book reviewers praise novels for their rich prose or the sensory sensations, while readers feel there is not enough happening to make them want to turn the page. And then there is When the Apricots Bloom, a delightful combination of interesting characters and spine-tingling tension and prose that is rich with sensory impressions that transport the reader as if on a magic carpet ride. Readers may not have ever traveled to Iraq or anywhere in the Middle East, but as they read this book, they will have vivid mental pictures of the setting.
Author Gina Wilkinson creates strong female characters with childhood friends Huda and Rania. After a brief opening scene that establishes the sense of family between the two girls, the next chapter is 24 years later. The oppressive government makes it impossible for the two women, whose paths have drifted apart, to live as they want. An interesting addition to the mix is a young and headstrong Australian woman, wife of the Australian diplomat to Huda and Rania's city.
This book promises to be a thriller, and I have my fingers crossed to win a copy and be among the first to read this unique novel.