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Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472285287

Price: £14.99

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At night, in Huda’s fragrant garden of apricot trees, a breeze sweeps in from the desert, carrying warning of visitors at her gate . . .

Huda, a secretary at the Australian embassy, has been ordered by the mukhabarat – the secret police – to befriend Ally Wilson, the deputy ambassador’s wife. Huda has no wish to be an informant, but she fears for her teenage son, who may be forced to join a deadly militia. Little does she know, Ally has dangerous secrets of her own.

Meanwhile, Huda’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.


‘Riveting from beginning to end . . . A great read!’

‘Atmospheric and suspenseful . . . I read this novel with my heart in my throat’

The stories of these three women are each compelling on their own, but when intertwined they become formidable . . . Stunning’

I felt the warmth of the sun and tasted the sweetness of the lime tea . . . Beautiful

‘All I can say is “WOW – read it. You won’t be disappointed.” ‘


A deeply involving and important novel by a master storyteller. Gina Wilkinson highlights the humanity at the center of a brutal conflict. She brings her lived experience to every page of this harrowing, dramatic, and ultimately hopeful book.
Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Gina Wilkinson's breathtaking novel explores the plight of ordinary people who must flee their country to survive, as three women living under the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein and his brutal secret police risk their lives to protect themselves and their children. Riveting and profound! I adored this book!
Ellen Marie Wiseman, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan Collector
'Thrilling yet heart-wrenching . . . This must-read novel is mesmerizing, captivating, and profound'
DEBORAH RODRIGUEZ, internationally bestselling author of The Moroccan Daughter and The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul
'I truly felt for the memorable women risking their lives to protect themselves and their families . . . Baghdad springs into vivid violent life . . . Outstanding!'
DINAH JEFFERIES, number one Sunday Times bestselling author of The Tuscan Contessa