When the Apricots Bloom
At night, in Huda’s fragrant garden, a breeze sweeps in from the desert encircling Baghdad, rustling the leaves of ...more
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3 women whose paths intersect in Iran. 2 Iranians, Rania & Huda- once best friends but now estranged; and Ally, an Australian diplomat’s wife who brings the 2 together unknowingly.
Everyone needs to watch what they say and where and who they say it to. The tyrannical Sadam regime has eyes everywhere and trusts no one. Especially foreigners.
But it’s this foreigner who unites them to save their children who are ...more
During her time there she lived under tight surveillance and one of her closest Iraqi friends worked as a secret police informant.
She tells this story through the eyes of three women.
Two Iraqi women and a diplomats wife.
The novel shows the fear and distrust, risks, lies, and betrayals of life under this regime.
I was riveted!
Ally Wilson was from Australia and had accompanied her husband Tom to Iraq where his duties as Deputy Ambassador would keep him busy in Baghdad, with him often having to be away for days at a time. Ally was bored and befriended Huda, a secretary at the Australian Embassy. But Huda would fall f ...more
When The Apricots Bloom is the first novel by Australian former foreign correspondent, radio journalist, documentary maker and author, Gina Wilkinson. Huda al Basri and her husband, Abdul Amir both had good jobs in Baghdad, but that was before the rise of the dictator Saddam Hussein, when Western sanctions kept Iraq virtually cut off from the rest of the world. By 2002, she considers herself lucky to have a secretarial position at the Australian Embassy, alt ...more
When The Apricots Bloom tells the tale of three women’s lives each unique in their perspectives and stories in Iraq during the ruthless reign of Saddam Hussein. The author weaves the stories beautifully in a suspenseful and atmospheric read.
I couldn't connect with this story at all. I had expected a story between three women and a lovely friendship blossoming between them but I didn't really get that. I liked that all three of them had different situations and were strong, smart in a time of Hussein's rule. I loved the idea around it but it was slow paced.
Also, it kind of reminded me of American Dirt as a white women is writing a POV of Iraqi women. Wilkinson definitely did her research and she did live there, based it off her exp ...more
When the Apricots Bloom is a debut novel inspired by the author’s experiences in Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s rule where she worked as a former war correspondent.
What would you do if the secret police demanded you spy on a friend in order to protect your family?
The story is narrated by three women Huda, a secretary at the Australian embassy, Ally Wilson the deputy ambassador’s wife (an Australian) and Raina an artist and the daughter of a sheikh who preferred to exhibit other’s work ...more
Loyal companship, family ties and parenthood defines the direction of When the Apricots Bloom, the debut release from Gina Wilkinson. The author draws on her extensive background living and working in Iraq under the oppressive rule of Saddam Hussein, to unfurl the lives of three connected women. When the Apricots Bloom is a startling, eye opening and emphatic novel.
A book filled with many demanding questions about life, friendship and family, When the Aprico ...more
Huda and Rania were childhood best friends, torn apart by the devastating consequences of the revolution that Saddam Hussein’s rule was determined to extinguish.
Now married with a son, Huda has found work as a secretary at the Australian embassy in Baghdad. The pay is a blessing since her husband’s career has come to a halt along with the economy. Unfortunately her position has gained the attention of the Iraqi secret police and they want her to befriend Ally Wilson, the deputy ambassad ...more
Ally, the wife of a diplomat at the Australian embassy meets both women, inadvertently bringing t ...more
Huda is a secretary at the Australian Embassy. She's grateful for the job, as her finance analyst husband has been unemployed because of the American economic sanctions. But there is a problem: the Iraqi secret police are pressuring Huda to spy on her boss' likeable young wife. As the menace and mistrust intensify, Huda reconnects with a childhood friend, whom she blam ...more
Ally is the wife of the Australian deputy Ambassador. She is one of the few wives in the diplomatic world still living in Baghdad during the last days of Saddam Hussein and the threats from GW Bush.
Her local secretary, Huda, is forced to report to the secret service all of Ally’s movements. Huda’s husband is unemployed and her teenage son is being groomed by a religious political group seeking to establish a post-Hussein governm ...more
Set in Baghdad in 2002, the novel unfolds from the perspectives of three women - Ally, the wife of an Australian ambassador; Huda, Ally’s husband’s secretary; and Raina, Huda’s childhood friend.
Under Saddam Hussein’s regime, Iraq is defined by loss, suspicion, and fear, the mukhabarat lurk everywhere looking for ...more
I think her writing was beautiful but I felt like it was a bit dry at the same time and found it hard to truly connect with the characters. Absolutely loved the title and the cover and the synopsis was also intriguing to me, but overall I found it a bit dry a ...more
This novel focuses on friendships new and old, with a backdrop of modern Iraq and flashbacks of the Iraq of years past. Although from very different backgrounds, Huda and Rania were friends from early childhood and marked by a blood oath they undertook together. Political turmoil and perceived deadly betrayals tore these blood sisters apart and only one thing could ever bring them back together.
Drastic times call for the unlikely reunion of two th ...more
This is the story of Huda, Rania and Ally. Huda and Rania are two Iraqi women, former best friends with a heavy past. Ally is the spouse of Australian Deputy Ambassador Tom Wilson. Huda works for the Australian Embassy as a local secretary. The Mukhbarat, the Iraqi secret police, is keeping as close eye on Huda as she is working for foreigners. To stay in control on all citizens, they pressure Huda to become an inf ...more
I know I’m in the minority here, but I was never truly hooked by this one. It was a slow start, and then I would find myself very into it, then struggling. I enjoyed reading of the Saddam Hussein regime. I can’t imagine living in Iraq at that time.
Set in Iraq during the regime of Saddam Hussein, this novel is told through the eyes of three quite different women. Ally, wife of an Australian diplomat (a ‘dependent spouse’), has accompanied her husband on posting to Baghdad. Ally has her own reasons for wanting to be in Baghdad.
Huda, a secretary at the Australian Embassy in Baghdad, is ordered by the mukhabarat to befriend Ally. Huda does not want t ...more
The story delves into the need for control by Saddam’s government, enforcing rules and corrupt police officers who demand that people do as they ask and if they do not, someone close t ...more
I've been a nomad from the age of six-months, when my parents packed me and our Siamese cat into an old Renault and set off for a remote gold-mining town in Aus ...more