Author: Anita Ammirezvani
Publisher: Headline Book publishing
Price: Rs 325
Rating: 4 out of 5
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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. A village girl's dreams of marriage end on the death of her father. Cast on the mercy of relatives in fabled Isfahan, she and her mother are reduced to servitude until she reveals a talent for designing carpets – an invaluable skill. Hope is short-lived, for a disastrous, headstrong act results in the girl's disgrace. Caught between forces she can barely comprehend, she faces a life lived at the whim of others – unless she is prepared to risk everything and choose a future based on her own strength and will.
It is a saga of the protagonist whose name remains undisclosed through the end..Her struggle to make a mark in life in spite of the adversities bestowed upon her by fate...Set in during seventeenth century Persia the story swirls around the her life of the narrator who loses her father at the very beginning of the novel...Losing the bread winner of the family, it goes down to the days of inadequacy of even the basic need for life..Thus her mother seeks the help of Gostaham her husband's step brother for help.. Though he takes them home their plight and tale never improves, they work all day like servants and have to deal with Goshtaham's wife who is eccentric....Gostaham is a talented carpet artist who works for Shah..Gostaham discovers the narrator's skill for the work and readily takes her under his wings and trains her well...But then fate plays its nasty games, earning the wrath of her uncle when she ruins an expensive carpet..Her life take a full turn and comes to where she started off all over again with no one to lean on...All she is left with a choice of Sigheh, a contractual marriage which would last for three months with an option of extension if the husbands desires..Her mother also forces her into it so that she would be paid bringing home some money for the household which she could use to buy raw materials for her work...She would be required to visit her husband when he expresses his desire..But the problem with this marriage is that after the period of three months she would be an outcast in the society....Such that she has very less options left at her disposal to get on with life...
Being that said the novel goes beyond the difficulties of the narrator, it explores the art of carpet weaving,the exquisite details of the design and the hard work that goes behind the work, at the same time it also puts forth the life of a girl in a turmoil when she has no father figure in life in a male dominated society..The narrator has great dreams for her future, she aspires to own a company of her own with people working for her...She is a free thinker and a determined lady, even when the future looks and dazzles bleakness...Through the narrator's mother we also get a glimpse of the folklore of Persia through many stories she recounts to her daughter....
All in all it was a very different read for me , had there been more details of the way of life their routine,ritual and everyday practices it would have created a whole lot of different mood for the reader....Though the melancholy is set right from the beginning, I was beyond irritated when she made took idiot steps inviting troubles to herself adding upon the existing ones, yet I liked her along the way as she grows up from a child into a woman wading through difficult water..Her mother though initially was such a sweetheart but her sudden change of colour somehow put me off.. Goshtaham is portrayed as a man of complete calm and love who helps the narrator throughly...Goshtaham's wife adds to the villainy part well...I would recommend this book to historic buffs though I will not promise great reading, but something different...