When the Almond Tree Blossoms (2016)

David Aikman, former senior foreign correspondent for Time magazine, first published When the Almond Tree Blossoms in 1993, as the Cold War ended and political polarization grew in the United States. Twenty-three years later, his novel is as timely as ever. The 2016 presidential election pits unabashed socialists and jaded capitalists against each other, and the nation seems more politically polarized than it’s been since the Civil War. This book is a reminder of what’s at stake: not only freedom, but life and peace. It’s 1998 in this alternative timeline. The US is controlled by a radical, collectivist regime bent on maintaining control despite a growing nuclear threat from the resistance. Douglas Richfield supported the People’s Movement early on and now participates in its regime as an assistant adviser for protocol. He’s known as an “activist” and a “progressive,” but he’s not entirely at ease with the movement he’s always supported. Limitations on freedom of speech, along with military police brutality, give him pause. A conversation with a beautiful stranger only increases his confusion. Perhaps the People’s Movement regime is neither as secure nor as noble as he once thought. Just as these doubts begin to form, the regime takes him out of his comfortable office job and into the field, where he must choose once and for all whether his loyalties lie with the People’s Movement or the Constitutionalist resistance. Aikman addresses world politics, secret agendas, and ultimately biblical prophecy in this thriller.