Monday, 4 May 2009
My Thoughts: The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
Today was a bank holiday in England so rather than doing the planned list of things that are desperately calling my name, I curled up and read this in its entirety.
The Blood of Flowers is written in the first person, the young girl tells the tale of her teenage years living in 17th Century Iran.
The book opens with the fortelling of a bad year brought by the arrival of a comet to the skies. The comet's fate leaves her father dead, and her and her mother fated to live a poor relatives in an unknown city in that vital year that she should be marrying.
After moving to the city of Isfahan the girl ad her mother are fated to servitude and compliance at the hands of distant rich relatives. Whilst their the girl is able to work on her skills as a carpet maker under the guidance of her uncle, the Shah's main carpet maker.
Being headstrong and defiant she upsets the rich relatives and has no choice but to have a sigheh - a 3 month long marriage - to a rich man. A man that helps her discover a world she never knew.
She then has to make that fatal decision stay with the rich man and gain his favours to keep her and her mother from poverty's grip or chance life as a carpet maker.
This tale is gripping and is interspresed with Iranian fables, told to explain the fates, would be good as a holiday read. My only problem with the novel was that the young girl was far too modern, she stood up to men, was defiant and bold all things which surely in 17th Century Iran wouldn't have been allowed, and would have been stopped by her parets long before she got to the age of 14.