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The Blood of Flowers

by Anita Amirrezvani


"The Blood of Flowers" is an outstanding first novel! Anita Amirrezvani is a skilled writer, and I look forward to her weaving her magic yet again. "The Blood of Flowers" is a captivating story that will leave you longing for Anita Amirrezvani's next novel.

I enjoyed the telling of stories within the story. I found the Persian folktales, legends, discourses, and teaching stories about spiritual growth to be fascinating.

"The Blood of Flowers" is a truly incredible story and I cannot sing it enough praises.

The story takes place in seventeenth century Persia. Even though the protagonist remains unnamed, we are told her name means “wisdom and strength.” She is fourteen years old and at the age to marry, when her father dies suddenly and unexpectedly. She had known that her time with him was coming to an end, but she had thought she would be the one to leave, a bride with her father's blessing.

It wasn't long before supplies had began to diminish, and meals became less and less plentiful. With constant pain in her belly from hunger, she always felt tired, and tasks that once were easy, like fetching water from the well, now seemed beyond her ability.

The only family she and her mother have is a distant half-brother, a child of her father's father and his first wife. His name is Gostaham, and he is a wealthy carpet-maker in Isfahan. A traveling silk merchant informed Gostaham of his half-brother’s death and the family’s doomed fate. Gostaham invites the girl and her mother to Isfahan to stay with him until their luck improves.

Life with the wealthy carpet-maker isn't easy. She and her mother are household servants in Gostaham's palace, but Gostaham teaches the girl the carpet-making trade. Fereydoon, a wealthy horse merchant, offers her a sigheh, a marriage contract lasting only three months. With no money and no dowry, her prospects for a permanent husband are gone. What better offer could a young woman with no dowry expect?

She enters into the sigheh with Fereydoon hoping she will please him enough that he will reconsider and make her his permanent wife, therefore securing a future for herself and her mother.

Eventually her and her mother are cast out of Gostaham's household. They struggle each day just to survive.

With her natural talent making carpets, and the added teachings of Gostaham, the girl sets out to make an independent living for both herself and her mother. She begins to rise above the injustices she has had to endure. Now her wisdom and strength shine through. She has lived up to the name given her at birth.

The Book

Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group USA
June 5, 2007
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The Reviewer

Connie Harris
Reviewed 2007
© 2007