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The Blood of Flowers Audiobook

The Blood of Flowers

In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. When her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: I knew Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo from her Oscar-nominated performance in The House of Sand and Fog, and hoped for another star turn in her narration of Anita Amirrezvanivs debut novel - I wasn't disappointed. Aghdashloo's deep, raspy voice is absolutely haunting, whether describing the (surprisingly) fascinating intricacies of rug-making or re-telling the Iranian folktales that are woven into the story. A colorful, lush tale that I didn't want to end. —Diana Dapito

Publisher's Summary

In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. When her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.

Despite her lowly station, the young woman blossoms as a brilliant designer of carpets, a rarity in a craft dominated by men. But while her talent flourishes, her prospects for a happy marriage grow dim. Forced into a secret marriage to a wealthy man, the young woman finds herself faced with a daunting decision: forsake her own dignity, or risk everything she has in an effort to create a new life.

©2007 Anita Amirrezvani; (P)2007 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Sumptuous imagery and a modern sensibility...make this a winning debut." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1855 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Anne Bridge Harrisville, NH USA 12-21-12
    Anne Bridge Harrisville, NH USA 12-21-12 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "intriguing"
    Would you listen to The Blood of Flowers again? Why?

    I may in 10 years. I am certainly going to pass it along.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I think the descriptions of the rug-making process was the most interesting "character".


    What does Shohreh Aghdashloo bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her rich voice and authentic background


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were moments when I could not stop listening because of the intrigue!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise MIddletown, DE, United States 12-19-12
    Louise MIddletown, DE, United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2012
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    "beautiful trip to exotic place and time"
    If you could sum up The Blood of Flowers in three words, what would they be?

    touching, informative, magical


    What other book might you compare The Blood of Flowers to and why?

    Historical fiction in a foreign (to me) place and time is always fun and educational, but I knew nothing about 17th c. Iran, so it is hard to compare to another specific book. Maybe The Red Tent or Tokaido Road in that they opened up a place in history in a personal way.


    What about Shohreh Aghdashloo’s performance did you like?

    At first I did not like how low and gravelly her voice was all the time, made it hard to modulate for different voices. But her accent and pronunciation of the Arabic words are beautiful and once I got used to it, I loved it.


    If you could rename The Blood of Flowers, what would you call it?

    Carpet Stories?


    Any additional comments?

    I love the way the author weaves traditional story-telling into the narrative and the way she illustrated the hardship of women's lives without rancor. The characters were rounded and real.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy R Bakersfield, CA 12-15-12
    Amy R Bakersfield, CA 12-15-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Enjoyable, educational"

    I enjoyed this book. I like historical fiction type writing...and while this didn't include a ton of history, there were cultural elements that I found educational. I liked the readers accent...I thought it really added to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. Reevu 12-04-12
    Ms. Reevu 12-04-12 Member Since 2015

    Ms. Reevu

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    "I Could Listen to this Narrator Forever!"

    What a smooth, deep, and spellbinding voice this author has. (I almost thought it was Jeanne Moreau, from The Lover) It's almost hypnotizing! The story itself is very well written, and filled with emotional depth. I love the many scintillating descriptions of Indian food that made my mouth water, and the way so many little stories are told along the way between the mother and daughter. The author has a remarkable gift of welcoming you into a foreign world and making you feel quite at home. This was a credit well spent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alison Samford Valley, Australia 12-04-12
    alison Samford Valley, Australia 12-04-12 Member Since 2014
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    "An Education and a Delight"
    What did you love best about The Blood of Flowers?

    Learning about carpet design and getting a detailed peek into a world I knew nothing of was a privilege. The descriptions of the food, the customs, and clothing were fascinating.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author, Anita Amirrezvani, artfully spins a plot that sucks the reader in. The conflict is gripping as the protagonist's fate unfolds. Adding to the pleasure of the story are the sumptuous details about the era. The bathing rituals of women. the banquets, the intricate patterns of rugs, the silk finery of the rich and powerful colour in a culture and time that is faint in the minds of many western readers.


    Which character – as performed by Shohreh Aghdashloo – was your favorite?

    The main character, an unnamed girl, was brought to life. Shohreh Aghdashloo's husky voice is compelling, and once I adjusted to her lush accent, I was totally entranced by her reading. I believe she must be a native speaker of Farsi, so it was a treat to hear the proper pronunciation of words and places. In particular, the exclamations of surprise and delight--"Voy!" stuck with me.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I am surprised that none of the reviews I read prior to reading the book mentioned that a solid portion of the book was about the main character's sexual awakening. Discussing this in too much detail would spoil the plot, which is probably the reason for this oversight. Indeed, I squirmed as I read about the initial sexual situation she found herself in. To my western mindset and sensibilities, it smacked of child abuse--she was a 15-year-old and the man was older. Her lack of power--the total inability to dissent--troubled me. That she wasn't repelled by what was happening to her was hard for me to accept. I don't, however, see this as a problem with the writing; it was more of a "TILT" due to cultural constructs.


    Any additional comments?

    The Blood of Flowers is as rich with detail as it is thick with tension. A satisfying resolution makes it an enjoyable and educational experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 11-12-12
    Rebecca 11-12-12
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    "Beautiful story and a mesmerizing reader."

    A vivid and compelling journey into the world of a beautiful and gifted young woman who triumphs as a rug designer in 17th Century Persia - despite her many losses, grinding poverty and a patriarchal culture designed to control and crush the independent spirits of young women. So glad I listened to this book; the reader's performance added richness and depth - pulling me in to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 09-13-12
    Sarah 09-13-12
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    "Immediate"

    The narrator draws you in and makes you party to the story. You believe it has happened, all of it. Happily for me, it is ultimately redemptive, ending on an up beat note.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anisa Washington, DC, United States 09-04-12
    Anisa Washington, DC, United States 09-04-12
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    5
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    "Written to be read aloud!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Blood of Flowers the most enjoyable?

    The narration is fantastic! The story is absolutely perfect for reading aloud- its tone and perspective just like an old folk tale. It reminds me of the glorious feeling of being read to by my parents as a child; losing myself completely in the myths and fairy tales.


    Have you listened to any of Shohreh Aghdashloo’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    First time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colby Omaha, NE, United States 07-19-12
    Colby Omaha, NE, United States 07-19-12 Member Since 2014

    Married mother of three teenagers, back to work after 15 years at home - when I read a lot. Now I am the assistant to the Mayor of Omaha and work at least 60 hours a week, and on top of what I have to do at home - no more books. This lets me listen to the classics, the latest, whatever I want. I can learn or escape. I have always love audio books, but now I NEED them.

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    "A wonderful glimpse into a timeless world."
    What made the experience of listening to The Blood of Flowers the most enjoyable?

    The extremely open look into a very closed world. The internal world of a Muslim woman - even today, let alone hundreds of years ago - is a mystery. Looking into the mind of a young, strong-willed woman within this world was facinating. I loved seeing the world through her eyes and her acceptance of some cultural norms I would find claustrophobic, while setting limits on which cultural expectations were not ok for her. Her ambition surprised and delighted me.


    What other book might you compare The Blood of Flowers to and why?

    This was a departure for me, so I have no comparisons. That is one of the things I love about my Audible.com membership, I can try something new with little to no risk of feeling I have wasted my money. I normally like historical novels, but I usually stick to America or Western Europe. World War II is my era. But this voyage into the world of 17th century Persia was really unique for me. I am glad I went.


    Which character – as performed by Shohreh Aghdashloo – was your favorite?

    Osam (spelling?) A man who is kind in a culture where strength is prized above all, but gentle enough to love his wife and respect the ambition of a young girl in his world. I even like that the women in his life make him a little nuts and know how to get what they want by being - subservient. It was one of the funniest parts of the story. Without ruining the story, I was dissapointed in him a couple of times, knowing he was capapble of more, but no one is perfect, right?


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listen in the car, and I choose long books, so I rarely think of listening in one sitting. Having said this, I liked having time to mull over and re-examine some parts in my mind. I still go back and think of things in the story and ruminate on their meaning. I also enjoyed living in that world over the several days it took me to read it. It was such a rich experience - with such clear verbal pictures of colors, smells, food, drink, temperatures, ALL of it, that I felt steeped in another world - even when not in the car.


    Any additional comments?

    The only reason I did not give it five stars was the ending, which I wish had been a bit more...complete. It was not horrible, it just could have been a little...more. Be prepared, you may start craving hummus and lamb while reading this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John L. Moncrief NYC 05-28-12
    John L. Moncrief NYC 05-28-12 Member Since 2015

    Lawyer, Vietnam War draftee, Peace Corps Thailand, fan of the Constitution, Science Fiction lover, work in New York City, like bodysurfing

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Familiar Theme But Really Well Done"

    This is another book where a spunky girl/young woman who lost everything uses her grit and talent (in this case rug maker/designer) to survive. But it is so well written, so full of historic Persian detail (which I am sure is accurate but that didn't matter... the author brought me into that world), that I became hooked early on. Really well written and an excellent narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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