Amanda's Reviews > The Blood of Flowers

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
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's review
Oct 13, 2010

really liked it
Read in October, 2010

reprinted from my column on Naugatuck.Patch.Com:
Read This! The Blood of Flowers
I just read The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani, and I loved it. It is the story of an unnamed girl, living in a small village in 17th century Persia, whose childhood was filled with dreams of marrying a loving husband, having lots of children, and living happily ever after. Of course that didn’t happen. Her dreams were destroyed when her father died suddenly, leaving the girl and her mother with no protection, no security, and no means to support themselves.
The two make a long journey, across a desert to a far away city, to seek help from a distant relation. The girl and her mother are taken on as servants in the house of her uncle, but circumstances force the girl to accept a temporary marriage contract, renewable after three months at the whim of her husband. Her situation remains fragile as she has no dowry, has given away her virginity, and could be thrown out in the cold at any time.
I especially liked the language Amirrezvani used to tell this story. I’ve read other reviews which said the language was too flowery or overdone, but I disagree. I felt it was magical, not flowery, and that each word seemed carefully chosen, describing the beauty of Persia through the author’s description of food, colors, fabrics and bodies. Even the steamy parts are rendered innocent and lovely in their telling.
The novel also follows the education of the girl as she learns the art of fine rug making, from tying tiny knots of wool to creating intricate patterns from complementary colors. The “blood of flowers” refers to the sacrifice thousands of flowers must make to produce enough brilliant dye for one gorgeous rug. Without giving away the ending, I can say that the main character makes a similar sacrifice for something equally brilliant: her independence.
You can find The Blood of Flowers at the Howard Whittemore Library under Fiction, or on CD with the audio books.

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