We are all the sum total of our experiences. In the same times, in the same places life shaping events can be similar. It was thoroughly enjoyable to walk with a 16th century woman who could make her own destiny.
I enjoy being transported to a different time and place and this book took me to 17th century Iran. The story was inspiring to me on several levels. The journey and hardships of the main character transcend time and place and can be identified with by today's reader. The subplot of rug making was informative but also highlighted the value of artistic creativity. The personalities and motives of the characters were universal.
The narrator was excellent and added to the exotic beauty of the story by her accent while maintaining clarity.
Now I am off to study about Iranian history, look at and discover more about Persian rugs and rug making, and look for more books by this author.
I rate 5 (Loved it!) 4 (Really liked it!) 3 (Liked it!) 2 (Didn't really like it!) 1 (Hated it!) I never rate a book before I finish it!
...it was interesting, but sometimes scary to learn about a woman's life in Iran. It was nice that the woman turned out to be strong. The narrator did a very good job, I like that her accent is Iranian.
This book was a breath of fresh air from the usual thrillers I have been reading. The mixture of Iranian folk tales and the story of the unexpected life of a young Iranian girl are set against the backdrop of exquisite rug knotting. The use of folk tales to teach lessons and the cultural traditions of hospitality and patience helped me to understand how we foreigners can be viewed as rude and impatient. The lovely voice of the talented actress Ms Aghdashloo enhances the atmosphere of the story. Thanks editors for recommending this book.
Crafted as a story best told or read aloud and the narrator could not be better. The story has the feel of a truly engaging fairy tale with enough realism to avoid being saccharine. It is told from the perspective of a female protagonist keeping oft visited themes fresh and original. The narrator gives the authors words the proper cadence allowing repeated phrases to punctuate the plot line appropriately. Together the author and narrator welcome the listener/reader into the warm embrace of the story as if she were a treasured daughter or sister.
The Narrator has a beautiful Rich and Resonant voice.
Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.
When the heroine brought her Feathers Rug to the Harem and Mariam asked her to teach her to draw.
I warmed my heart and made me pray for the Heroine's success as a rug designer.
Anita Amirrezvani captivates her reader with a beautifully written tale of the life and times of a young girl in a culture that westerners have not taken the time to understand or appreciate. How different we are in our customs but not in our passions and desires.
Shohreh Aghdashloo's performance added authenticity to all of the characters. She read as if she knew each character personally.
I did not want this book to end and was delighted each time a new chapter began.
I can hardly wait for Anita Amirrezvani's next book.
Coffee and a Book Chick
Sometime last year, Audible.com had a sale and The Blood of Flowers was included. I nonchalantly read through the synopsis, and was pulled in by the story of a young girl in seventeenth century Persia, but I was immediately hooked once I listened to the audio sample. Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo is one of those actresses I've always liked but never knew her name, yet it's her voice that is so memorable. I didn't even need to search online to know that the narrator was the actress in House of Sand and Fog, Fox's series 24, and most recently on the NBC series, Grimm. Click here to listen; isn't her voice beautiful and captivating?
Combined with Aghdashloo's voice, Amirrezvani's mesmerizing tale of seventeenth century Persia comes to life even more. Although it was a time that wasn't easy for anyone, much less for women, our fourteen-year-old protagonist is certain her world will be full and happy, consisting of marriage and many children. But when her father unexpectedly dies, life forces a different turn. Soon, she is traveling with her mother to Isfahan to work with her uncle, a rug maker. Her own artistic talents as a designer help her to excel in a world in which men lead the way, but it's when a secret marriage secures her current financial situation that she and her mother finally feel safe. The crumbling turn it takes is unexpected and derails her from the comfortable life she had created, but it might just be the choice that sets her completely free.
I loved this story. Rather, I'll call it an experience, particularly as it was the audiobook. The richness of the characters and the details alone make it worthy of a recommendation but with Aghdashloo beautifully relaying the intricacies of the story, from the artistry of rug-making, the secret marriage, intense love scenes, and staggering betrayals of friends and family, made it even more at the top of the list of best audiobooks to listen to. Rounding out the tale itself are seven fables embedded into the story, told by the protagonist's mother. Each of them come from traditional sources, particularly thirteenth-century poets and adds another layer of cultural fullness to the story.
Keeping the protagonist unnamed may be unsettling for some, but in this case, it makes perfect sense. The author points out at the end that when you admire the artwork on a carpet, the designer is anonymous. Never do you see a signature and so the artist is never named, their legacy somewhat lost. Allowing the main character to remain unnamed keeps with the spirit of anonymity. And although some may not like a more mature voice speaking the words of a young girl, I did not find it disconcerting in the least. Again, Aghdashloo's voice is magical enough, lending even more authenticity to the story.
I loved everything about the story of a young girl in her early life of unexpected friendships, marriage, love, loss, and betrayal. Amirrezvani is a new-to-me author and I'll eagerly add her work to my bookshelves.