Beautifully written but couldn't connect to characters.

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When the Apricots Bloom follows the story of 3 women - Ally, the Australian-American wife of a diplomat; Huda, Ally's husband's secretary at the embassy; and Raina, Huda's childhood best friend.

This is a very character-driven book, but I didn't feel like the characters were fleshed out enough and I couldn't connect to them as much as I would have liked. The danger they were all in was only talked about and never actually shown, which made the stakes feel low for the plan they had hatched. Wilkinson does a good job of capturing the fear and paranoia of that time, but

I would have rather been shown the danger instead of just told secondhand. Huda's brothers were killed by the regime, but we never met them, Ally was being followed but never faced any direct threats or violence, Huda's son and Raina's daughter were both threatened and targeted, but again only verbally and nothing had actually happened. I couldn't connect emotionally with the characters and the whole plot felt too easy.