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anita amirrezvani

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xiaotien
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Location: southern cali
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anita amirrezvani

Postby xiaotien » Sat August 30th, 2008, 10:26 pm

anita's debut novel, the blood of flowers, is such
a fantastic read. it received good reviews but i
don't think it was as widely read at all. which
is a real pity. here is the book review i wrote for
it a while back. it's among the top 5 books i read
in 2007. and i read 43 books that year.

[SPOILERS IN REVIEW!!!]

...

set in 17th century persia, the author brings another world to life with rich descriptions of sights, sounds and smells.

the heroine (who remains unnamed throughout the entire book--to honor artisans of the past), loses her father at age fourteen. they live in a small village and come from humble roots. with her father's passing, she and her mother are unable to make ends meet. altho she was meant to have been married soon, it is now impossible as she has no dowry.

they turn to her father's half-brother for help, and he writes to invite them to stay at his home in the impressive city of isfahan. when they arrive, they find that her uncle holds a high office as one of the lead rug makers for the shah and other elite. our heroine has always been a good knotter (rug maker) and her uncle takes her under his wing.

she enjoys life in the big city, despite the fact that her aunt treats her and her mother like servants. they sleep in a tiny dirty room between the latrine and storeroom. our heroine befriends naheed, a girl from a wealthy family who is her same age, and they become friends. naheed convinces her to attend polo games so naheed may attract the attention of her crush--whom she intends to marry.

life changes for our heroine when she is offered a sigheh--a legal marriage union lasting three months--to a rich young widower. her aunt siezes it as an opportunity to ingratiate the family to perhaps gain rug commisions, as well as take the financial burden off of taking care of them, as our heroine would be paid for this union. and the sigheh can be renewed on a three month basis--if her husband is pleased. but they must keep this contract under wraps, as it is seen as shameful to the richer families (such as her aunt and uncle).

when our heroine agrees to this arrangement and loses her viriginity is when the story starts twisting every which way. we see her rashness as her strongest foible, and she repeatedly makes mistakes because of it.

the author disperses persian folklore throughout the tale, much like fables. the tale is told in the first person narrative, and the prose is lyrical. the author really brings you into this other place. an excellent debut novel. i took special interest in the tale as there are similar themes between her book and my own. i am impressed by her ability to create a quiet story that is still filled with intrigue and tension. i recommend it and consider it among the top five novels i have read in 2007.
Last edited by xiaotien on Sat August 30th, 2008, 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SILVER PHOENIX : Beyond the Kingdom of Xia
greenwillow / harpercollins summer '09

cindypon.com

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diamondlil
Bibliomaniac

Postby diamondlil » Sat August 30th, 2008, 10:34 pm

Hi Cindy. I too loved Blood of Flowers when I read it.

I am going to move the review section of your post into the review sectionbut leave this thread here, because I would love it if people would post when they hear anything about her next book!
Last edited by diamondlil on Sat August 30th, 2008, 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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