The Blood of Flowers
by Anita Amirrezvani
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.
of Flowers" is a truly incredible story and I cannot sing it
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.
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?
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.
her and her mother are cast out of Gostaham's household. They struggle
each day just to survive.
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.