Simmonsmry's Reviews > The Blood of Flowers

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
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Jul 26, 08

Recommended to Simmonsmry by: I reviewed this stunning debut novel for BookPleasures.com.
Recommended for: everyone
Read in July, 2007

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 suitable man.

Then an unexpected tragedy occurs. Her beloved father dies and she and her mother are left alone with no one to protect and provide for them in their village. When her uncle offers his assistance, they have no alternative but to leave their home and travel to the city of Isfahan - a place so unfamiliar it may as well be in a foreign country.

As the novel unfolds, the young woman begins to take lessons from her uncle on the art of rug-making, but some rash decisions put her in a position where she is forced to consent to a form of short-term marriage known as a sigheh, which threatens to ruin her reputation and her future prospects.

Through all of her struggles, impassioned decisions and bold demonstrations of her independence, the young woman has one constant in her life: the art she is compelled to create. "It was as if I were living within the surface of the carpet myself, surrounded by its soothing colors and its images of eternal tranquility. Lost in its beauties, I forgot the misery around me."

But like everything in life, there are two sides to the beautiful craft. The work is physically intense, causing injury and sometimes permanent damage to the women who sacrifice themselves for the sake of a rug. "All our labours were in service of beauty, but sometimes it seemed as if every thread in a carpet had been dipped in the blood of flowers."

Amirrezvani takes us on an intriguing journey into this young woman's experience. She has created a character who represents the countless female artisans who have practised their craft and received little recognition or compensation for the beauty they have created for others at their own expense and labour.
'The Blood of Flowers' is an intricate design, knotted with detail and precision. Every word has its place in the broader story, creating a piece of art that is beautiful and designed to stand the test of time. Transporting us into a past that reveals elements of the present, this novel will continue to delight and mesmerize readers of the future.
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