I was intrigued from the beginning of When the Apricots Bloom when the two girls, Huda and Rania, take a blood oath to be sisters always, keeping no secrets from each other. When the reader next meets the girls, they are women with teenagers of their own--and their country is changing. I could practically taste Huda's fear as she is asked to befriend Ally, the wife of the deputy ambassador at the Australian embassy. The deputy ambassador is Huda's boss. The veiled threat to her son foreshadows that she will have little choice. Next, Rania, also a mother to a teen (a daughter) is shown selling the last of her father's books to buy beans. She has, out of fear, sent her own daughter to stay with her mother--she hopes out of danger. And then, there is Ally, visiting the bookshop with the beautiful books given up for food. How could I not want to keep reading about what happens as the lives of these women intertwine?