A thought-provoking story

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When the Apricots Bloom is a moving story about three different women set in Sadam Hussein's Iraq. The lives of Huda, Rania, and Ally collide amid the turmoil of Sadam's regime. Ally is the wife of an Australian diplomat, who arrives in Iraq hoping to find out more about the time her mother spent working as a nurse in the country in 1970. Huda, an Iraqi woman, works for the Australian embassy, and Rania, is Huda's former childhood friend. Rania and Huda had a falling out in the past and lost touch.

In Sadam's Iraq, everybody has secrets, nobody wants to talk about the past, and confiding in anyone, even friends, can be dangerous because anyone could be an informer of the mukhabarat (the secret police). In fear for her family, Huda is forced to befriend Ally and report her every move to the secret police. When Rania's life becomes entangled with Huda's and Ally's, all three women and their families will find themselves in extreme danger from the regime.

When the Apricots Bloom is a poignant story of friendship, motherhood, and survival in one of the most brutal regimes. The book was inspired by the author's own experience of living in Iraq as a foreigner during Sadam Hussein's rule. It was not an easy read. Just reading about the atrocities and the trauma so many citizens endured filled me with sadness. When the Apricots Bloom is a compelling and thought-provoking story. I highly recommend it!