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The Blood of Flowers Audiobook

The Blood of Flowers

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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 (2060 )
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4.3 (1422 )
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4.4 (1430 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jennifer FPO, AE, USA 12-18-07
    Jennifer FPO, AE, USA 12-18-07
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    "Phenomenal"

    English spoken in any accent has a rhythm of it's own, which when found in the reading of this book, adds depth and authenticity to the richly woven characters in this coming of age novel that women of any age will intuitivley recognize and know. A wonderful escape to a mysterious new world that is both exciting and hauntingly familiar. Worth every minute.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Le Center, MN, USA 04-23-09
    Julie Le Center, MN, USA 04-23-09 Member Since 2010
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    "At last a woman's story"

    I loved this book both because it depicted a woman's story in this area of the world, but also becuase I love oriental rugs. It's well written and well read and I was sorry to have it end.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan's Gal Sal Twin Cities, MN 08-07-08
    Dan's Gal Sal Twin Cities, MN 08-07-08 Member Since 2002
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    "Draggin' in the Middle"

    And no, I don't mean there's a fire-breathing reptilian animal in the middle. :)
    The beginning of this book is very good. You will get attached to the young woman and her loving parents in their small village in Iran (or is it Persia?). The end is wonderful as well, but the middle left a lot to be desired.
    First of all, the naivete of the main character was frustrating. She was letting all sorts of things happen TO her and not doing a darn thing about it. Her family and friends were nagging, selfish and did little to support her, angering me further.
    Then, the repetition began: the same words, phrases, situations, conflicts, solutions, internal monologues, errors, faults...boring. I think the author could have chopped out 90 minutes and we'd have understood her struggle just fine. The constant reiteration of her troubles, conflicts and foolishness was too much. I got sick and tired of hearing over and over again about her husband, her marriage contract, her relatives and money. Her whining didn't really help, either.
    Stick with it through the tedious middle hour or two (or fast forward, you won't miss much) and you will be pleased with the ending. Our little protagonist grows up, gets a clue and starts making thing happen FOR her. She makes a way for herself (and her mother) without a man; she comes to the very true realization that not all family is related by blood and she learns that she can stand on her own two feet.
    A good debut novel, but not worth the two hours of boredom. Unfortunately, not one to put on the must hear again list. Rates 3 out of 5 stars.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Dean Illinois 10-28-15
    R. Dean Illinois 10-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Shohreh Aghdashloo's voice is lovely but..."

    Shohreh Aghdashloo is the narrator and her voice is like butter. I enjoyed listening to this but I didn't love the story. Maybe perhaps because there are too many despicable characters. Many of the men were absolutely awful people and some of the main female characters were portrayed as petty and catty. Some cool Iranian fables were sprinkled throughout. Sometimes they were good, sometimes they dragged on and took away from the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    girorv montreal, QC, Canada 10-02-15
    girorv montreal, QC, Canada 10-02-15 Member Since 2011
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    "We write our own stories in this life"

    What a rich warm time I have spent in this book. The tale is not always easy. The young girl does learn from her mistakes. Life for a woman in Iran is not fair , but she makes her way. She comes to understand , that in spite of the fact that her name will never be known by those who sit on her rug. While they are sitting there, their heads and thoughts will rise to the heavens, long after her bones are dust. The narrator with her deep quiet voice added warmth to the girl in the story. She does not have a name, but she does write her own story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 03-19-15
    Linda 03-19-15
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    "Pretty Good!!"

    I enjoyed learning about historical Iranian culture. The story was good with excellent character development. I just wish the main character didn't go through so much difficulty and pain to learn her lesson from bad decision making. Over and over and over again. It got a little ponderous working through everything with her on her journey. The story still remained captivating though! Hard to take my headphones off!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy J. Brown Bloomfield, Michigan United States 11-19-13
    Nancy J. Brown Bloomfield, Michigan United States 11-19-13 Member Since 2007
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    "I kept listening in the hope it would get better!"

    I have read other books set in this time and environment, example " The People of the Book" and learned new things as well as enjoyed the story. This book started with an interesting concept and quickly went down hill. The characters felt shallow to me and the story became repetitive. I finished it hoping it would somehow redeem itself but I was disappointed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 05-21-12
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Compelling story in 17th Century Persia"

    I enjoyed the novel The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani. I loved learning about the culture of Iran and the ancient art of rug/carpet making knot by knot. The author was able to transport me to seventeenth century Isfahan, Iran. The culture was so interesting. I also enjoyed how she described the carpets as works of art.

    It was a very good story. I enjoyed reading about the young girl’s courage, her love of rug making, her attempt to rise above her current circumstances, and her difficult journey as she matures as a woman.

    I could have done without the short folk tales that were added to each chapter, however, because I didn’t feel they added to the story at all.

    The narrator, Shohreh Aghdashloo, really made the story! They couldn't have chosen a better narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ninjachinchin 01-30-12 Member Since 2013
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    "WARNING: YOU CAN'T STOP LISTENING!!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The author's words skillfully and literally paint pictures while the narrator's voice/performance absolutely brings this story to life. This is one of the most beautiful and most luscious stories I have ever listed to. The turns of the main character's life are like one of the magnificent rugs she so admires and strives to achieve. Each colorful thread (or life experience) is a necessary contribution to her ultimate design. I highly recommend and will even go so far as to beg anyone and everyone who is looking for an exceptional story to listen/read The Blood of Flowers (Warning: contains sexually explicit passages, which may not be appropriate for children).


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Blood of Flowers?

    As the main character's mother was known for her 'honeyed-voice' and story-telling skills, I too was captivated by the many short-stories, anecdotes, etc., which the author wove into her main story.


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

    THIS NARRATOR IS SPECTACULAR AND BEYOND WORDS! For me, listening to this book was pure magic as Shohreh's voice, her natural persian accent and her depth of emotion perfectly captured the characters and exotic elements in this book. I was transported and entranced!


    Any additional comments?

    As in any good book, there are aspects of this story which are devistating and heartbreaking but there is also hope. I fell in love with this audiobook. I loved the history, the culture, the saddness and the author's wonderous descriptions of Isfahan and its extreme opulence versus its poverty the main character encounters. Anita Amirrezvani is truely a gifted writer and I am definitely going to purchase EVERY audiobook narrated by Shohreh Aghdashloo.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Budd Canada 01-16-12
    Janice Budd Canada 01-16-12 Member Since 2016
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    "In a word - Rich!"

    In a word, this novel is rich! I felt infused with colour, aroma, passion and flavour.

    The intention of the author was to give her readers a feeling of what life was like in Iran during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great in the 17th century. Also woven into the story was the history of Persian rug making.

    Another historical part of the novel was the inclusion of some traditional folk tales. The first and last folk tale were created by the author, but the others were traditional stories. They all began with, "First there wasn't, and then there was. Before God, no one was."

    One of the highlights of the book for me was the narrator of the audiobook, Shohreh Aghdashloo. Her lilting melodic voice, rich in her native Iranian accent, made the story more real. At first, I had to listen carefully so I could understand her accent. That quickly passed, and I settled into listening to her narration.

    I appreciated that Anita Amirrezvani did not pussyfoot around the sexual scenes. In my opinion, it demonstrated the passion of the Iranian people and defined the purpose of the sigheh (pronounced by Shohreh as sir-aye), which is a legal marriage contract with a specified term designed generally for the sexual pleasure of the husband. A sigheh could be as short as an hour and as long as months or years and may be renewed repeatedly. The first time I had heard of this was when I read Prisoner of Tehran: A Memoir.

    Perhaps the biggest outcome of the story for me was that it gave me a new appreciation for the beauty and richness of the Iranian culture, notwithstanding the treatment of women. Now if only I could afford to buy a Persian rug!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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