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The Blood of Flowers

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  15,171 ratings  ·  1,780 reviews
In the fabled city of Isfahan, in seventeenth-century Persia, a young woman confronts a dismal fate: Her beloved father had died and left her without a dowry. Forced to work as a servant in the home of her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the Shah, the young woman blossoms as a brilliant designer of carpets. But while her talent flourishes, her prospects for a ha ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Little Brown and Company
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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!

Community Reviews

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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,171 ratings  ·  1,780 reviews

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Lisa Vegan
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was ok
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Niledaughter by: Huda
Shelves: favorites, iran
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Review to come.
Dec 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 15, 2010 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
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
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!
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
Dmitrijus Andrušanecas
ANITA AMIRREZVANI ir jos literatūrinis debiutas GĖLIŲ KRAUJAS įvyko 2007 metais. Tuo metu, kai nieko nesupratau apie moteris ir jų prislopintas teises, apie socialinę atskirtį ir klasifikaciją, apie kilimus ir jų reikšmes, apie sunkumus ten ir tada, už Europos ir prieš XXI a.

Autorės pasakojama istorija apima laikotarpį 17 a., kai Persijoje, mano manymu, buvo svarbūs trys dalykai – turtas/skurdas, moteris/vyras ir kilimai. Pastaroji tema tokiam skaitytojui, kaip aš, pakankamai detaliai nupasakojo
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
This book has sat on my shelf for around three or four years. The title fits a Reading Challenge I'm doing, but more importantly, in the past year or two a few lovely, brilliant, fierce Iranian women have crossed my path and made my world a much more interesting place. They're all very different people, and have made me more aware of the rich history and ethnic/ cultural diversity of Iran.
In short, the timing was right and this book really resonated with me.
I connected with the narrator, too, e
Vic Van
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book on one of my mother's shelves quite a few years ago and it had been sitting on mine ever since. I am glad now that I finally felt in the mood to actually read it because the story was very much to my liking.

The author spent a lot of time researching the historical details, so I can only assume that the story is fairly accurate as far as the customs and descriptions of everyday life were in those days in Iran.

One thing is for sure. Women didn't have easy lives in Iran in those d
Oct 11, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
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.
Gina *loves sunshine*
DNF @33% - gosh, I really wanted to like this one because the story of the rug making started off good. It just didn't pick up in the character areas and relationships
زينب مرهون
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Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 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.
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Heather *Awkward Queen and Unicorn Twin*
This was a little difficult to read at times because the protagonist was just so damn naive and you just knew whatever situation she was hopeful about was going to go terribly wrong. I would have liked to have been better convinced of her transformation throughout the book rather than just be told she had become more mature after the trials she'd endured. The writing wasn't especially great, but I've never read a book set in Iran, past or present, so it was interesting to read. (However, it also ...more
Dec 17, 2009 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.
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Recommendations 2 5 Sep 11, 2017 06:00PM  
Historical Fiction: Oriental literature, historic fiction 4 17 Jul 02, 2017 11:12PM  
Arabic Literature 1 3 Mar 19, 2017 10:26AM  
Busy as a Bee Books: The Blood of the Flowers - Anita Amirrzvani 33 36 Dec 23, 2011 08:07PM  
Facebook Page 1 49 Jun 09, 2008 02:16PM  
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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.

“Be like the date that grows sweeter and sweeter , even though the soil that nourishes it is rocky and harsh” 35 likes
“First there wasn't, then there was. Before God no one was.” 21 likes
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