Title: The Blood of Flowers.
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: 2007
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
First edition, first printing, 8vo, 377pp, white paper covered boards, red spine, SIGNED by the author on the title page, fine copy, in fine dustjacket. "In Persia, in the sevententh century, a young woman is forced to leave behind the life she knows and move to a new city. Her father's unexpected death has upended everything - her expectation of marriage, her plans for the future - and cast her and her mother upon the mercy of relatives in the fabled city of Isfahan. Her uncle is a wealthy designer of carpets for the Shah's court, and the young woman is instantly drawn to his workshop. She takes in everything - the dyes, the yarns, the meanings of the thousand ancient patterns - and quickly begins designing carpets herself. This is men's work, but her uncle recognizes both her passion and her talent and allows her secretly to cross that line.The world of medieval Persia comes alive in this luminous novel, from its dazzling architecture to its bustling markets with their baskets of spices and breathtaking turquoise-and-gold rugs." - from the dj blurb. Bookseller Inventory # 1851
Set in seventeenth-century Iran, THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS is the powerful and haunting story of a young girl's journey from innocence to adulthood.
The novel begins in the 1620s in a remote village where the narrator (whose name, in the Iranian storytelling tradition, we are never to know) lives with her mother and rug-maker father. On the sudden death of her father our heroine and her mother fall upon hard times and are forced to travel to the bustling, beautiful, exotic city of Isfahan where relatives take them in.
Everything is new: the grudging charity of her aunt, the encouragement of her uncle, one of the finest carpet-makers in the world, who begins to teach her his craft, the treacherous friendship of the daughter of rich neighbours. And there's an adventure ahead which will introduce her to the sensual side of life as well as to the cruelty of betrayal and rejection before she finds her way to contentment and possibly, even, to happiness, in a world full of contrasts and dangers.
Review: Word-of-mouth is often a reliable guide to the interest of a novel, and in the case of Anita Amirrezvaniís The Blood of Flowers, the considerable preliminary excitement was fully justified. This is a vivid and atmospheric picture of Iran: the way in which the people live, the sunbaked scenery and the architecture. But most of all, this is the involving story of a young girl's journey from a state of innocence to that of sober adulthood. Amidst the colour and excitement of the bazaars of Isfahan, a spirited young village girl is approaching the age when it is expected that she will marry. But suddenly her life is thrown into turmoil at the same time as a luminous comet blazes across the sky. After the death of her much-loved father, the young woman and her inconsolable mother find themselves obliged to cope with a challenging new life in the busy city of Isfahan. They are taken in as house servants by an uncle, a wealthy carpet designer, and his unsympathetic wife. Although life is difficult, Amirrezvaniís protagonist quickly shows her skills as a maker of carpets, and under her uncle's watchful eye, life begins to look positive again. But then an ill-considered action results in the heroineís fall from grace, and she is forced into a grim secret marriage.
The narrative here is couched in prose by Anita Amirrezvani that positively glows on the page, and the characterisation is similarly acute, notably of the wonderfully drawn heroine. As a journey into a society that will be alien to most readers, this is a remarkable achievement. --Barry Forshaw
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