This is an epic story of three women, fighting to keep themselves and their families safe. I jumped at the chance to read this story, since I love historical fiction, and this is really different than my usual “historical” book.
This book tells the story of Huda and Rania, two childhood friends who had a falling out, and no longer speak to each other. The story begins with them taking a blood oath, and jumps to many years later, when they are no longer talking or friends. Huda now works for the Australian Embassy, and is in a rocky marriage to her husband. Rania is a widow who owns an art gallery.
Enter Ally, a Australian diplomat’s wife. Although most, if not all, diplomat’s spouses are not in Iraq at this time, she was able to get exempted from that and lives with her husband in Iraq. This is the time of Saddam Hussein’s rule, and Ally is harassed on the street often, just for being Western. She also, unbeknownst to anyone, is half American, something that would (at best) get her kicked out of the country. At the time, no American’s were allowed into Iraq. At the worst, it would get her interrogated and possibly killed.
This story follows the intertwining of these women’s lives, and their attempts to get Huda and Rania’s children out of Iraq for their own safety. They eventually need to work all together to accomplish their goals. We also find out what happened between Huda and Rania, with some resolve with that. Also intertwined with the story is Ally’s back story, and her ulterior motives for wanting to accompany her husband to Iraq.
Overall, this was an interesting and engaging book. I loved the stories of the three women, and how their stories are separate, but then eventually come together well. The ending of the story is heart warming and satisfying, and I would highly recommend this read. This would be especially good for those who love historical fiction, and wants to switch it up from the typical WWII epic novel.