Word-of-mouth is often a reliable guide to the interest of a novel, and in the case of Anita Amirrezvanis The Blood of Flowers
, the considerable preliminary excitement was fully justified. This is a vivid and atmospheric picture of Iran: the way in which the people live, the sunbaked scenery and the architecture. But most of all, this is the involving story of a young girl's journey from a state of innocence to that of sober adulthood. Amidst the colour and excitement of the bazaars of Isfahan, a spirited young village girl is approaching the age when it is expected that she will marry. But suddenly her life is thrown into turmoil at the same time as a luminous comet blazes across the sky. After the death of her much-loved father, the young woman and her inconsolable mother find themselves obliged to cope with a challenging new life in the busy city of Isfahan. They are taken in as house servants by an uncle, a wealthy carpet designer, and his unsympathetic wife. Although life is difficult, Amirrezvanis protagonist quickly shows her skills as a maker of carpets, and under her uncle's watchful eye, life begins to look positive again. But then an ill-considered action results in the heroines fall from grace, and she is forced into a grim secret marriage.
The narrative here is couched in prose by Anita Amirrezvani that positively glows on the page, and the characterisation is similarly acute, notably of the wonderfully drawn heroine. As a journey into a society that will be alien to most readers, this is a remarkable achievement. --Barry Forshaw
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'I've just read the most wonderful book by Anita Amirezzvani... it is fascinating, totally original and utterly gripping. It will remain one of my favourite books' (Esther Freud, Independent on Sunday
'Amirrezvani weaves her own experiences into the prose: giving a sense of the country.' (Eastern Courier Messenger and City Messenger, Australia
'This is a journey of the soul from enslavement to freedom through the creation of the narrators own story. It exudes a vibrancy of colour and sensuousness but also draws vividly the squalor of poverty.' (Adelaide Advertiser
'Sensuous and transporting...filled with the colours, tastes and fragrances of life in seventeenth-century Isfahan' (Geraldine Brooks
'Amirrezvani... infuses her heroine with lilting eloquence' (Washington Post
'Beautifully imagined... Simply a stunning debut' (San Francisco Chronicle
'Lushly written, sensual' (Australian Women's Weekly