The Blood of Flowers

“The Blood of Flowers” by Anita Amirrezvani (Iran)

Review

Describing it as a rich book, readers liked the setting of the story (both time and place) most of all. They were absorbed by the detailed descriptions of the rug making, the preparation of the meals, the cleansing rituals at the hammam and life within the family home. They felt the city of Isfahan, with its vast square – the Image of the World – and its Thirty-Three-Arch bridge, was brought vividly to life by such scenes as the polo games, the old Friday mosque and the bustling bazaar. Some readers enjoyed the slow pace of the story, whereas others found it frustrating and would have liked more action. There were differing opinions as to the narrator, with some finding her character well drawn and likeable, and others finding her naïve and irritating. They liked most of the other characters who they described as flawed but very real. Each chapter ends with a folk tale and most readers enjoyed this storytelling reprieve, though some found it disconnected them from the main story. Overall, readers thought the book was a good read even if it was somewhat predictable and formulaic. It averaged a 7.5 out of 10.

Synopsis

When the unnamed narrator’s father dies and with it her dreams of marriage end, she and her mother have to leave their village and travel to the city of Isfahan to stay with relatives. They soon find their lives reduced to servitude until the narrator reveals a talent for designing carpets – an invaluable skill in seventeenth-century Iran… Read more 

Season 10 – “First Novels” (Sep 2009 – Jan 2010)

“The White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga (India) *
“The Blood of Flowers” by Anita Amirrezvani (Iran)
“Lost City Radio” by Daniel Alarcon (Peru)
“Nervous Conditions” by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe) *
“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison (U.S.)

Extra book:
“The Vagrants” by Yiyun Li (China)

* The book club favourites
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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