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The Blood of Flowers

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  13,041 Ratings  ·  1,623 Reviews
In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. But when her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a ...more
Paperback, 457 pages
Published April 3rd 2008 by Headline Review (first published January 1st 2007)
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Kate The author has written another book called Equal of the Sun, set during the reign of Shah Tahmasp. I enjoyed it a lot!
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Lisa Vegan
May 08, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who enjoys novels, historical fiction novels
I will never again look at Persian/Iranian carpets in the same way. This book makes me want to view many examples of such carpets so that I can now fully appreciate their artistry.

This is a finely crafted first novel and I really hope that this author writes more novels. I love her writing style and storytelling.

I was completely immersed in the story, characters, and the time & place of this book. I loved the stories within the story, the depiction of a particular woman’s life and a look int
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
3 1/2 stars

This story takes place in the 1620s in Isfahan, Persia (Iran). After her father's death, a teenage girl (never named) and her mother travel from their small village to Isfahan to live with a relative. They are mostly treated like household slaves/servants, but the girl manages to gain skills in rug design from her uncle, a prominent rugmaker.

I liked the story, but far too much of the book was taken up with the narrator's sigheh (a temporary, renewable "marriage" which is essentially
Aug 06, 2007 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story was interesting, but I was disappointed overall. I had high expectations of language and wordplay, and it really felt like a highly-sexed YA style--little sophistication. The protagonist annoyed the crap out of me, and thus made it hard for me to feel any sympathy for her plight. The information about the making of rugs was great, though, and reading about the colors and knots almost makes this a three starred books. My favorite parts of the books were the fairy tales interjected, and ...more
Jun 18, 2010 Niledaughter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Niledaughter by: Huda
Shelves: iran, favorites
This is my second novel about Iran , the first was (Samarkand) , both are historical , but while (Samarkand ) took political & ideological path , this one dealt with one of the Persian art formats and the cultural and social conditions that surrounded its uniqueness and perfection .and in the same time with a feminine feelings and sprit ..

In few words : (the blood of flowers) is the complicated and passionate journey of a fiery ... talented female carpet designer towards maturity and profes
As a contemporary piece of modern feminism, this is a terrible book. Thankfully, it wasn't meant as such. Rather, it's a new fairy tale, one that I felt was woven as beautifully as the rugs described therein.

The reader, Shohreh Aghdashloo (you know, this woman) makes this story magical, wonderful, intriguing, and even sensuous probably because of her dusky voice and lovely accent but also because she does a good job subtly bringing the characters to life. I highly recommend listening to this...u
Jun 11, 2012 Dem rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

The Blood of flowers is a historical fiction novel and a love story, which is set in 17th century Iran. As a lover of historical fiction I was really looking forward to this novel.

The Blood of Flowers is a really enjoyable novel about a young woman and only child whose gift as a rug designer transforms her life. This novel details Persian rug-making, and brings to life the sights sounds and life of 17th-century Isfahan. This is a powerful and haunting story about a 14 year old girls j
Oct 16, 2015 Iris rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Review to come.
Dec 24, 2008 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel provides a fascinating look into the culture of 17th century Persia, especially from the perspective of women of all social classes. Particularly fascinating was the detailed look at the art of rugmaking and the traditional folk stories told by the narrator and the narrator's mother. I also liked that the narrator was headstrong and willful, but in a realistic way that often ended in tragedy for her. Such a narrator made the story accessible for both a modern and a Western audience as ...more
Jul 21, 2008 Chrissie rated it really liked it
Anita Amirrezvani has in this novel of historical fiction told of life during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great of Persia. It is thoroughly engaging. It accomplishes what the best historical fiction can do; enveloping the readers in a foreign time and place, teaching about a culture, not just the dry facts, but rather how life would be there and then. You forget you are leaning and instead absorb the culture through the lives of people you encounter in the story.

Shah Abbas (reign from 1571-1629
"I thought about all the labour and suffering hidden beneath a carpet [...] All our labours were in the service of beauty, but sometimes it seemed as if every thread in a carpet had been dipped in the blood of flowers."
The Blood of Flowers is a carefully crafted historical novel set in the 17th century Iran during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great. This is historical fiction at its best, thoroughly absorbing the reader in another time and place and introducing them to past cultures and ways of
The Blood of Flowers is the story of a young girl (never named) in 17C Persia whose father dies unexpectedly and left destitute. She and her mother are forced to seek shelter from her uncle, a wealthy rug maker in the city of Isfahan. Despite their status in the household as nothing better than servants the girl shows a talent for rug making and design and with no male heir of his own to succeed in his craft her uncle takes the girl under his tutelage. Enough of the reviews recap the story suffi ...more
It is a very hypnotic tale. I was really absorbed into the story-line and I felt I had time-traveled to the 17th-century Persian myself. I really adore the courage of the unnamed main character who still manage to move on after each of the misfortunes that had befallen her. This story also shows how a girl matures into a women and how her dreams evolve with time. I also got the inside into the culture of Shia muslim, which I had never know. I love how the narrator is so passionate about carpet m ...more
Aug 15, 2010 Nicolette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
By Anita Amirrezvani
(Headline Review)

SET in 17th century Iran, this novel tells the tale of a young village girl who has her destiny shattered after a comet blazing across the sky is seen as a bad sign.

Her family is about to arrange her marriage but the comet spells disaster. And after the death of her father, her hopes of marriage are dashed.

The nameless heroine and her mother go in search of her uncle, Gostaham, in the city of Isfahan. There, they are taken in as servants b
The descriptions of rug-making are interesting, such an involved and laborious process for this art. The story itself...also interesting but the characters were flat as paper. Occasionally they would be creased and folded into revealing some facet of personality but still in a disjointed way.

Life for women sucked back in those days!
Dec 01, 2012 Kata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kata by: John
This book pulled me across the ocean and back in time to 17th century Persia. A young woman, after the loss of her father, travels with her mother from a small village to Isfahan. There they live with the young woman's uncle. Upon their arrival it is made clear to them that they will be servants in the household.

In Isfahan, the young girl's fate becomes worse than that which she may have had in her small village. The young girl, who I believe remains nameless (Aziz?), is a talented artist and w
I just put Iran on my real-life travel wishlist! I loved the descriptions in this book, I felt like I was there in Isfahan, visiting the Image of the World, the Thirty Three Arches Bridge, the bazaar, seeing carpet makers and other craftsman at work, being overwhelmed by all the smells, sounds, views and tastes. I loved learning so much about Iranian life, culture and traditions.
Dec 17, 2009 Petra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully rich and textured story of a young girl in 17th Century Persia. This poor girl goes through many trials but stays true to her conscience and beliefs.
I really enjoyed the fables and tales interwoven in the story.
In a word, this novel is rich! I felt infused with colour, aroma, passion and flavour.

The intention of the author was to give her readers a feeling of what life was like in Iran during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great in the 17th century. Also woven into the story was the history of Persian rug making.

Another historical part of the novel was the inclusion of some traditional folk tales. The first and last folk tale were created by the author, but the others were traditional stories. They all
A GR friend complained of the central character's misjudgments. I never forgot that she was 16-17 when she was making the decisions described. This is an age when many people make mistakes due to inexperience and lack of knowledge about how the world works. I think that what seems to be common sense to older people is actually wisdom acquired through the process of maturation.

I also think that the largest mistake that impacted the main character's life wasn't hers at all. It's due to a cross-cul
Feb 07, 2017 HomeInMyShoes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was good. Very good. Worth reading just for the traditional stories at the end of each section.
I enjoyed reading about Iran in the 1620's. The author did a very good job of painting a picture of what life was like, and I could almost see Ishafan. For me the most interesting aspect of the novel was learning so much about the making of persian carpets. The only reason why The Blood of Flowers didn't get a higher rating was that I never connected emotionally with any of the characters.

The Story: Anticipating an arranged marriage only to discover that her father has passed away without leavin
Mar 24, 2011 Shalini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
an enthralling read, especially so because I just love reading about other times, other cultures and how women used to fare....
this is the story of a female rug maker of Iran set in the 17th century (though the book never mentions the time period, I came to know through other reviews I read about the book). We are taken through her aspirations and tribulations and journey from childhood to early womanhood. One word of caution, though: at one stage in the book, there is a lot of adult content inv
Dec 17, 2009 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in learning about other cultures
A truly inspirational story about a woman forced into impossible choices and situations. A very different story than what I usually read, but I could not help but get entranced by its lyrical language intertwined with persian stories/fables.
Under the surface, it beckoned the reader to look into what freedom means especially as a woman and asks the reader to consider what one would do or rather endure for one's family or for money/survival.
Mar 26, 2013 Dovilė rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, 2015
Toks jausmas, kad prieš kokius 5 - 7 metus ši knyga būtų palikusi nepalyginamai didesnį įspūdį. Dabar - 3,5/5.
Jul 26, 2008 Simmonsmry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Simmonsmry by: I reviewed this stunning debut novel for
In the blink of an eye, everything can change. One tragic event can send lives spiralling down a staircase full of unknowns.

In her debut novel, Anita Amirrezvani explores this theory through the eyes of a young Iranian woman living in the 17th century. At the age of 14, the unnamed narrator is looking forward to a new chapter in her life. She is expecting to be married before the year is out and her only troubles come from worrying about how her family will raise a sufficient dowry to offer a s
Jul 10, 2012 Caro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My biggest problem with the book is that it had an incredibly weak ending. The story is more or less a pauper's tale, a young girl's life is filled with lamentable woe and bad luck after bad luck. The main character, an unnamed young girl, has skills as a carpet maker which was the only part of the book I could stand. The details that went into making a carpet were very labor intensive and the only thing of interest.

The main character's plight was more annoying that sympathy inducing. She was ne
Steve Lindahl
Apr 20, 2013 Steve Lindahl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: myshelf
The Blood of Flowers is a historical novel set in 17th century Iran during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great. It's the story of a young woman who spends her first years in a small village, then, after the death of her father, moves to Isfahan, a large center of commerce. The culture and economy is male dominated, so when the narrator loses her father, she and her mother have to depend on the good will of an uncle, who is a carpet maker for the Shah. (The uncle's wife isn't thrilled with the extr ...more
Jun 13, 2011 Sally906 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Set in Iran in the 17th century a nameless 14-year-old village girl starts to tell her story. As THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS opens the girl and her parents live a happy, if poor, life and she is looking forwards to the possibility of a marriage being arranged in the coming year. She makes carpets and loves designing and making beautiful works of art. A comet appears in the night sky and the local religious leader foretells strife and bad luck while the comet is there. The comet soon proves to be the pr ...more
Aug 21, 2008 KT rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful. The descriptions of food, clothing, rug-weaving, social customs....all a sumptuous feast. Brings early 17th century Persia to life through the voice of a young girl and her difficult and redemptive journey.

Paired nicely with the August 2008 National Geographic cover story!

Note: I wondered throughout why the author chose to use 'Iran' instead of addition to geographic variances throughout history, I thought that (in general) 'Iran' i
Jul 04, 2010 LemonLinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this one when searching for a book to fit a challenge task requiring a historical fiction set in a Middle Eastern country other than Egypt. This one is set in 17th century Persia/Iran and sounded interesting so I went with it. And I am so glad that I found it. I learned so much about the tradition, the culture, the country, the religious practices, etc. all told through an intriguing story of a young girl.

Born in a rural setting, she and her mother must travel to Isfahan, the largest cit
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Anita Amirrezvani is the author of the forthcoming novel Equal of the Sun, which was published by Scribner in June, 2012. Her first novel, The Blood of Flowers, has appeared in more than 25 languages and was long-listed for the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction. She teaches at the California College of the Arts and at Sonoma State University.

More about Anita Amirrezvani...

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