When the Apricots Bloom PDF ↠ When the ePUB í


When the Apricots Bloom [PDF / Epub] ☉ When the Apricots Bloom By Gina Wilkinson – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Inspired by her own experiences in Ira during Saddam Hussein’s rule Gina Wilkinson’s evocative suspenseful debut is told through the eyes of three very different women confronting the limits of fr Inspired by her own experiences in Ira during Saddam Hussein’s rule Gina Wilkinson’s evocative suspenseful debut is told through the eyes of three very different women confronting the limits of friendship and forgiveness and the strength of a mother’s loveAt night in Huda’s fragrant garden a breeze sweeps in from the desert encircling Baghdad rustling the leaves of her apricot trees and carrying warning of visitors at her gate Huda a secretary at the Australian embassy lives in fear of the mukhabarat—the secret police who watch and listen for any scrap of information that can be When the ePUB í used against America and its allies They have ordered her to befriend Ally Wilson the deputy ambassador’s wife Huda has no wish to be an informant but fears for her teenaged son who may be forced to join a deadly militia Nor does she know that Ally has dangerous secrets of her ownHuda’s former friend Rania enjoyed a privileged upbringing as the daughter of a sheikh Now her family’s wealth is gone and Rania too is battling to keep her child safe and a roof over their heads As the women’s lives intersect their hidden pasts spill into the present Facing possible betrayal at every turn all three must trust in a fragile newfound loyalty even as they discover how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect their families.

  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • When the Apricots Bloom
  • Gina Wilkinson
  • English
  • 02 August 2016
  • 9781496729354

About the Author: Gina Wilkinson

I'm a former foreign correspondent radio journalist and documentary maker for the BBC NPR the ABC and other well known public broadcasters who decided to trade my flak jacket and reporter's notebook for an author's pen or keyboardI'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.



10 thoughts on “When the Apricots Bloom

  1. Marilyn Marilyn says:

    Gina Wilkinson based her book When The Apricots Bloom on her own experience of living in Ira under the Saddam Hussein regime She was previously a journalist but arrived in Ira as a dependent spouse Gina Wilkinson was thirty one years old when she lived in Ira and was befriended by a woman informant who reported back to the regime about all of her comings and goings and who she spoke with It was not until after Saddam Hussein's regime toppled that Gina found out about the informant She knew that the mukhabarat gave the informant no choice but to follow orders That experience planted a seed in Gina Wilkinson's mind and inspired her to write When the Apricots Bloom Although it is a fictionalized story it is based on the author's experienceThere are three main characters in When the Apricots Bloom They were all strong female characters something that Ira frowned upon It was not easy to be a woman living in Sadaam Hussein's Ira Huda was a secretary at the Australian Embassy The Mukhabarat Ira's secret police feared by all commissioned Huda to spy on Ally Wilson the deputy ambassador's wife Her job was to gather any or all information from Ally that could incriminate America or any of its allies Huda reported to the Mukhabarat and based her information on what she gathered from conversations she had with Ally and places she accompanied her to Huda hated being put in this position She never wanted to be an informant but when the Mukhabarat threatened to force her fourteen year old son Khalid to join the Lion Cubs and then the deadly militia of the fedayeen Huda knew she has no choice but to accept her role as informant She was prepared to do whatever she had to do to keep her son safeRania grew up in the same village as Huda but Rania's childhood was very different from Huda's She was the daughter of a sheikh and led a very privileged life Against all odds the two girls became best friends Early on in their young friendship they performed a ritual where they became blood sisters Now with the introduction of Saddam Hussein's reign and her father's death over ten years ago Rania had lost her wealth and privilege Back when Rania was just married she was part of the Opposition that tried to bring democracy and freedom to Ira Rania lost her husband during the Opposition and Huda lost both of her brothers Huda blamed Rania for her brothers' deaths Huda believed that Rania persuaded her brothers to rise up against Saddam Hussein and his regime Huda could not forgive Rania for her brothers' deaths and so they terminated their friendship Rania was forced to sell her father's extensive library of sacred books to make ends meet Rania operated a gallery in Baghdad and had one daughter Hanan who she would do anything to protect She was an artist but preferred now to show other artist's work than to produce paintings herself anyThrough the course of When the Apricots Bloom the lives of Huda Rania and Ally intersect Rania and Huda came to rely on one another once again Ally's secrets of why she really chose to accompany her husband Tom to Ira were revealed and her help was commissioned by Rania and Huda Ally found it in her heart to do what she believed was right even if it meant that she had to lie and deceive some How far will these mothers go to protect their children? There were also glimpses of Ira before Saddam Hussein became dictator That Ira was full of people that were free and the land was bountiful and beautiful That was the Ira Ally had expected to see when she chose to accompany her husband to Ira Ally however was shown an Ira that was full of corruption and ugliness and laced with fear When the Apricots Bloom was a beautifully written debut novel written by Gina Wilkinson I look forward to reading other books by this author Friendship secrets betrayal fear intimidation threats loyalty trust and motherhood were the threads that brought this story to life It was eye opening and fascinating to read about life during Saddam Hussein's rule especially through the story of these three women This book will be published in January 2021 I highly recommend itI received a complimentary print copy of When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson from Kensington Publishing Corporation through a goodreads give away Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own

  2. Kasa Cotugno Kasa Cotugno says:

    Ally Wilson new wife of an Australian diplomat in Baghdad has secrets as do the other two women featured in this novel that is set in Saddam Hussein's Ira But it is Ally that Gina Wilkinson identifies with most closely both have had experience as American journalists Wilkerson shares Wilson's status as a dependent spouse and this setting provides the strongest element of the story She also had the experience of having been befriended by a woman who turns out to be an informant to Saddam's secret police the Mukhabarat which she didn't discover until later Wilkinson has woven a work of fiction around these experiences one that is uneven but does have some surprising elements

  3. Laura Prindable Laura Prindable says:

    This novel left me speechless It awakened the ignorance I had for women's life in Ira whole under Saddam Hussain's rule Terrifying Having to watch everything you do Which is something us Americans take for granted Today after reading this book I am thankful Thank you #Netgalley for this awesome ARC

  4. Kali Cannizzaro Kali Cannizzaro says:

    When the Apricots Bloom by Gina GD Wilkinson This novel focuses on friendships new and old with a backdrop of modern Ira and flashbacks of the Ira 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 togetherDrastic times call for the unlikely reunion of two the women who struggle to consider that they could still trust and have loyalty to one another They are forced to deceive and cooperate with the regime in order to save their children Their relationship with Ally a complicated Austrialian diplomat’s wife becomes very important and the reader sees that anyone can lie in the face of fear and when faced with the opportunity to do what is justWhile the reader easily becomes invested in these fascinating characters it is clear that Ira herself is another character in this story She has undergone a transformation that makes her unrecognizable to those that only experienced her past or her present The reader is left rooting for her to return to her prior glory when the land was lush society was lively and her people were much free The author’s note is not to be missed and provides a wonderful context to the story making it even rich and meaningful I highly recommend this fast paced female character driven book

  5. Rosemary Reeve Rosemary Reeve says:

    Beautifully written suspenseful exploration of secrets and betrayal in Saddam Hussein's Ira where every friendship is a risk 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 Irai 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 blames for a terrible loss How will these different women navigate such a brutal and uncertain world? What will survive of their friendships their families their sense of self?This is an exceptional book The characters have deeply grounded arcs making difficult life changing choices that are understandable and relatable It was informed by the author’s own experiences but each main character is fully realized and sympathetic Ira is almost its own character its beauty elegance and history still apparent in the lovely bookstores the bright blue sky but encroached all around with the ugliness and corruption of the regime Highly recommended Many thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

  6. Liana Liana says:

    Actual rating 35 stars At night in Huda's fragrant garden a breeze sweeps in from the desert encircling Baghdad rustling the leaves of her apricot trees and carrying warning of visitors at her gate Huda a secretary at the Australian embassy lives in fear of the mukhabarat the secret police who watch and listen for any scrap of information that can be used against America and its allies They have ordered her to befriend Ally Wilson the deputy ambassador's wife Huda has no wish to be an informant but fears for her teenaged son who may be forced to join a deadly militia Nor does she know that Ally has dangerous secrets of her ownHuda's former friend Rania enjoyed a privileged upbringing as the daughter of a sheikh Now her family's wealth is gone and Rania too is battling to keep her child safe and a roof over their heads As the women's lives intersect their hidden pasts spill into the present Facing possible betrayal at every turn all three must trust in a fragile newfound loyalty even as they discover how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect their families I want to start this review by saying that I immensely enjoyed the setting of this book Despite priding myself in reading excessively and always trying to read outside my comfort zone genres I am not an expert on or even ones I don't particularly like trying to read books set in as many countries as possible etc I will admit that I had never read a book set in Ira before; at least not a non academic one However I am really interested in Middle Eastern cultures so this book was very close to being my exact cup of tea Wonderful setting? Check Women focused? Check Really good prose? Check And yetIt all fell a bit flat for me Despite taking place during Saddam Hussein's regime the stakes never felt particularly high I believe the author could have focused a bit in creating a claustrophobic terrifying atmosphere in order to better explain or even justify to an extent her characters' actions feelings and fears Even a dead man could feel the tension in the air And the regret thicker than the scent of orange blossom Out of the three main characters my personal favourite was Rania; the better developed one however was Ally probably because the author could relate to her a bit I found both Huda and Rania lacking the delicate nuance the understanding that comes with experiencing something for yourself firsthand rather than having someone explain it to you They were in no way written in a disrespectful or belittling manner but since the author herself is white I think Ally's experiences were just closer to what she herself had experienced as a foreign correspondent in BaghdadOverall I found When the Apricots Bloom to be a very enjoyable book Perhaps enjoyable is not exactly the right word to describe the experience of reading this particular book the subject matter is after all uite heavy but I adored the setting and thought it made some very interesting points and observations Could it have benefited from another round of editing to add a bit depth to its characters? Most definitely yes but that doesn't mean that it wasn't a really good book anyway An ARC was provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  7. Stephanie Spafford Stephanie Spafford says:

    Let me start by saying I absolutely loved Gina Wilkinson’s new book When the Apricots Blume I demolished it in two sittings which says a lot about Gina’s ability to suck you into the lives of her three main characters Rania Huda and Ally It follows their lives in Baghdad during Saddam Hussein’s totalitarian reign It is about friendship informants and fear for your family It is a story about what a mother will do for her family It is also perceptions of the past and what they mean for the people of today When the Apricots Bloom comes out in December keep an eye out for it as it’s going to make wavesThis review is based on NetGalley ARC provided in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion

  8. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    This was an ARC First Reads Goodreads GiveawayIt is a well written story full of intrigue and secrets I like how she portrayed each woman deeply and complexly I also appreciated visiting a place I have not visited or read much about

  9. Sue Sue says:

    DNFThe cover and especially the title of this book drew me in Add to that the description that gave a comparison to Kite Runner and I had to have it I am giving it two stars for one reason only I wanted to uit at 48% read but kept going until 73% thinking it was still possible I’d start to enjoy it I didn’t; I giveNormally I don’t give feedback on titles I don’t finish but I’m justifying this because of how much I did readThanks to Net Galley for fulfilling my reuest to read this advance reader copy

  10. Dora Okeyo Dora Okeyo says:

    I saw this book on Netgalley and I had to reuest the publisher to read it because I was drawn to two things on the blurb the fact that it’s set in Ira during Saddam’s reign and the second aspect involved three different women I asked myself what could a secretary an artist and a diplomat’s wife have in common?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 to them or simply the people themselves disappear The diplomats are also spied on by the Irais and the police visit anytime to glean information from the Irai spies mostly in their homes reminding them of the hold they have on themAs the story begins the author introduces us to both Huda and Rania as young girls who take a blood oath to always protect each other’s secrets As the story unravels Huda comes off as the one who would go to any lengths to protect her family including blackmailing her former childhood friend Rania and it does not help that she is also working for the police as an informant giving details of Ally’s lifeIn reading this book Huda was ice cold towards Rania and you could not help but wish that she could take a step back and soften towards her friend Rania on the other hand is the artist both wise and calm and she knows when to push and when to refrain What I found oddly satisfying was that both women had suffered the loss of their loved ones at the turn of Saddam’s reign yet their approach towards this loss was utterly different Rania was warm towards people while Huda was aloof Her words could slice you openAlly the diplomat’s wife is noted as ‘housewife’ on her Australian passport but her coming to Baghdad is not just to support her husband Tom but it’s to find out about her mother a child’s last hope of trying to put together the pieces of her mother’s life She starts asking uestions and soon learns that in a dictatorship your words could make you or kill you literallyThe story of these three women is both nostalgic as it is heartbreaking and it reminded me of the countless number of lives that are affected in war torn countries countries facing civil unrest and so dictatorshipsThis book is also beautifully written that you cannot help but urge Huda Rania and Ally on in their uest and their friendship

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