The Blood of Flowers

by Anita Amirrezvani

In 17th century Iran, a girl and her mother leave their village to live with their half uncle after the death of her father. In the big city of Isfahan, they are treated more like servants then family. However, the girl’s talent in carpet making is soon recognized by her uncle, who teaches her the craft like she were his son. Nonetheless, she is a girl, and without a father and a dowry, her future looks bleak.

This is a beautifully crafted book. The author’s description makes everything comes to life: the bustling bazaar, the exquisite carpets; and every character, with flaws and strengths, love and hate, stands out as real, life-like person that develops and changes, not caricature of kindness or evil. Even a beggar has his moments of kindness and cruelty.

In the afternote, the author mentioned that she spent nine years researching and writing the book, and the effort shows: little details of life that makes the story real, folktales that cast a magical air, and trivia about carpet making that entices the reader.

I also like how the author portrays an array of Persian women. There is woman locked in unhappy marriage arranged by parents, (which Western readers fully come to expect) but there is also woman with loving husband who refused to take a second wife even if her first is barren. Sigheh is a temporary marriage contract that can in some way be viewed as legalized prostitution. For many women it is a disgrace, but for one woman, it is thanks to it that she can carry on a relationship with her childhood sweetheart.

Published in: on April 29, 2011 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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