Caro's Reviews > The Blood of Flowers

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
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's review
Jul 10, 2012

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Read in July, 2012

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 nearly the cause of all her own problems and it seemed that she sought to blame everyone around her for her problems. She was incredibly whiny and made incredibly stupid decisions. Honestly, she and her mother should have died in the story if it wasn't for the fact that she had a rich uncle who took her in afterwards.

The last forty pages were an attempt at making the story a happy ending when the author should have ended the reader's misery and either just killed the girl or made her actually earn her own merit, instead of having the uncle save her. By having the uncle save her, it just made it seem like she was a petty child who refused to apologize after her wrongdoings because of her pride. It was like the Graveyard of the Fireflies, where the two children might have been able to survive if he had just kept his mouth shut and stayed with his relatives, no matter how uncomfortable he was.

But no. Instead, we had to deal with some sap story as how the main character, because she's a woman, gains the trust of the shah (the richest and most influential man in the town)'s concubine and then becomes rich and famous.


The story was also punctuated with many short stories and poems of the Arabic tradition. Having taken a class on Bedouin and Arabic poetry, I understand that Arabic literature is often like this, which random poetry interspersed throughout the stories in a kind of frame storytelling style. However, it doesn't work here, no matter how interesting the stories are, they detract from the main plot and I often found myself wanting to skip over them just because they had little to do with the actual plot.

For all its faults, I did enjoy the very detailed insight on how to make a carpet and the Arabic tradition and the way women were treated. The technical details were incredibly fascinatinig and I would have liked to read more on how to hand make carpets. That alone was good enough for me to give this book a three.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs I enjoyed your review. I went to college to learn carpet design. The design process itself is fascinating but making them by hand is not, just tedious. I think I might have to read the book to see how it is presented there.

message 2: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Durocher I completely agree that the main character was annoying because her bad decisions were the cause of most of her own troubles.

However, I wanted to note that Persians aren't Arabs. They're two separate ethnicities, although the Arabs did rule Persia (Iran) for 400 years. Because of that, it's a common mistake! :)

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