Three very different women must confront how far they will go to protect their families, under the ruthless rule of a dictator
'Thrilling yet heart-wrenching ... This must-read novel is mesmerizing, captivating, and profound' DEBORAH RODRIGUEZ, million-copy bestselling author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul
'Baghdad springs into vivid violent life ... Outstanding!' DINAH JEFFERIES, No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of The Tea Planter's Wife
Iraq, 2002. As night falls in Huda's fragrant garden of apricot trees, a breeze sweeps in from the desert, warning of visitors at her gate.
A secretary at the Australian embassy in Baghdad, Huda has been ordered by the mukhabarat to befriend and spy upon the Deputy Ambassador's wife, Ally Wilson. To refuse is to risk her son being forced to join a deadly militia. But - though Huda cannot yet know it - Ally is keeping dangerous secrets of her own.
Meanwhile, Huda's estranged friend Rania - a sheikh's daughter whose wealth is long gone - is battling to keep her own daughter safe from the dictator's men. As Huda and Rania are brought together again, through their relationship with Ally, their hidden pasts spill into the present. Facing betrayal at every turn, all three women must trust in a fragile, newfound loyalty, even as they discover how much each is willing to sacrifice to protect those they love...
Lose yourself in this evocative and completely gripping bestseller, where secrets are precious currency and three courageous women are tested to the limit by a horrifying power seemingly beyond their control.
'Rarely do we hear stories of those who are most oppressed. And stories from recent wars told by women about women are even rarer ... Wilkinson's evocative language shapes the novel into one of suspense, intrigue and conspiracy; where female friendship is platformed ... Although it is set within a backdrop of male power, where human grief is "almost a creature unto itself", the power of a woman's intent for the safety of those she loves carries the novel through with a mesmerising pulsating force' Sydney Morning Herald
'Richly drawn characters and high-stakes plot' Publishers Weekly
'A deeply involving and important novel by a master storyteller. Gina Wilkinson brings her lived experience to every page of this dramatic, and ultimately hopeful book' SUSAN WIGGS, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author
'Riveting and profound! I adored this book!' ELLEN MARIE WISEMAN, New York Times bestselling author
Gina Wilkinson is an award-winning former journalist, foreign correspondent and documentary-maker who's reported from some of the world's most intriguing and perilous places for the BBC and ABC, and other renowned public broadcasters. During two decades living and working in hotspots across the globe, she spent more than a year in Baghdad under Saddam Hussein. At that time, Iraq was virtually sealed off from the outside world, and Gina lived under tight surveillance. One of her closest Iraqi friends worked as a secret police informant, reporting on her every move. Gina now works in international development, supporting efforts to end poverty in the developing world. She lives in Melbourne. When the Apricots Bloom is her first novel.