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Extended Audio Sample The Blood of Flowers: A Novel Audiobook, by Anita Amirrezvani Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,755 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anita Amirrezvani Narrator: Shohreh Aghdashloo Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2007 ISBN: 9781594839139
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At the age of fourteen, a young woman in seventeenth-century Persia believes she will be married within the year. But when her beloved father dies, collapsing in the field where he works with the other men from their village, there is no hope for a dowry. Alone and penniless, she and her grieving mother are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven—meant, of course, for her married life—to pay for their journey to Isfahan. There they will work as servants for her uncle Gostaham, a rich rug designer in the court of the Shah, and be lorded over by Gostaham’s wife.

Despite her lowly station, the young woman blossoms as a brilliant weaver of carpets, a rarity in a craft dominated by men. But while her artistic gift flourishes, her prospects for a happy marriage grow dim. Forced into a secret marriage with a man who will never take her as his first wife, the young woman is faced with a daunting decision: forsake her own dignity, or risk everything she has in an effort to maintain it.

Amirrezvani infuses her story with lush detail, brilliantly bringing to life the sights sounds and life of seventeenth-century Isfahan: the dazzling architecture; the exotic Persian foods; the breathtakingly beautiful rugs. A sweeping love story, a powerful coming-of-age story, and a luminous portrait of a city, this is a universal tale of one woman’s struggle to live a life of her choosing.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Simply a stunning debut. One can’t help but want to return to the charming main narrator and the entrancing tale of her quest for independence and self-reliance, her daring and honest exploration of love and desire for love, and above all the profound discovery…that she ‘must being to understand her own worth’”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Amirrezvani delicately weaves this sumptuous tale of female fortitude and ingenuity in seventeenth-century Persia.”

    Booklist

  • “Sumptuous imagery and a modern sensibility…make this a winning debut.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie Shaw | 2/14/2014

    " What a strong lead character... She prevails in the end in her own way in a man's world... Love it... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mischelle | 1/31/2014

    " Great book, fabulous narration! A definite recommend for women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teeuhh | 1/31/2014

    " Really a 3.5 stars. This book was blessed with interesting and well-developed subject matter and a series of very delicately written stories-within-the-story, but I found the plot arcs to be predictable and most of the characters to be extremely one-dimensional to the point of not caring what happened to any of them, narrator included. Yes, she's essentially a teenager and prone to brash decisions, but sometimes what she was doing just got ridiculous. That said, a lot of care went into this book, which gives it the higher mark. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie Hertle | 1/28/2014

    " In 17th century Persia, an unnamed and impulsive 14 year old female narrator transforms into a successful and wise carpet designer. Because the narrator spent nine years composing the story with several trips to Iran, the author weaves together traditional folktales, researched events, the art of knotting and designing fine carpets, and this fictional story. As one reviewer mentioned, too much time was spent describing the detailed sexual activity between the narrator and her temporary husband. Other than that, I was pleased that the narrator risked her safety and protection for a life congruent with her values. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marjorie Roesinger | 1/21/2014

    " I enjoyed this book about 17th century carpet artistry. It combined the strength of family, the lustiness of the sigheh, the talent of color combinations and tying the knots into a comfortably flowing story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christi | 1/16/2014

    " Just finished this one...I couldn't put it down, but it was a little depressing. Great historical fiction though about a woman in Iran, who has a talent for rug making, who has to make her life in a man's world after her father's death. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brynne Betz | 1/8/2014

    " enticing, luscious, otherworldly, crushing, devastating, spirit-filled, hope-infused....a beautiful story of a young artisan woman and her struggles in 17 century Iran. I read this voraciously....and with the devotion of an elderly woman saying her rosaries, or should I say, reciting the Qu'ran. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lexi | 12/26/2013

    " This was a stunning and beautifully written story. I can't comment on historical accuracy or anything like that, I have no idea, but it was a lovely read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally Moos | 12/26/2013

    " Good book. One of the better books I've read lately. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alice | 12/6/2013

    " Beautifully written and enjoyable. A great look at pre-modern Persian culture. Makes me want a Persian rug! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Danielaecr | 11/7/2013

    " It took a while to get into anf then even after it was still not that great. Hated the ending, felt like it left you hanging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cliona | 10/27/2013

    " Was it just the aftermath of spending way too long on "Freedom" - I'm not too sure but I picked this book up on monday afternoon and finished it on wednesday night. It was compelling - a great story about a young female carpet designer in Persia in the 1600's. I miss it!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vickie | 12/18/2012

    " I enjoy this genre of story...ancient times...what a woman's life might have been life in another culture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 2/19/2012

    " I read this book in less than 2 full days. It was one of the best books I have read. If it wasn't for book club I would never had picked it up! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthia | 8/30/2011

    " Somewhat uneven, but a wonderful look at Iran in the middle ages and the beautiful handmade Persian rugs through the eyes of a teenage girl. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 6/23/2011

    " i really enjoyed this book, an easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna | 12/8/2010

    " I love stories about people overcoming great hardship and this one is written with beautiful imagery and fascinating detail. Fantastic insight into 17th century Iranian society, carpet making and sexuality, from a young woman's perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rand Faris Murtadha | 9/14/2010

    " Although it's fiction, but it gave me hope. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patty | 5/15/2010

    " I really enjoyed this book! Lots of great imagery, and an interesting story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charla | 2/12/2009

    " LOVE IT! Wonderful cultural references that take the reader back in time and creates a universal bond with the characters! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry | 2/3/2009

    " Not a bad read. I am wondering how much the attitude toward women has changed sense the 16th century. However the real message here is how women were able to survive even in an environment that I cannot even begin to relate to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Delia | 1/2/2009

    " Really enjoyed this story. Interesting. Loved learning about rug making. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 6/24/2008

    " rather unbelievable...took place in 17th century but I found it inconsistently written. Learning about rug making in Persia was interesting but main character was not someone I could relate to. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz Thomas | 11/26/2007

    " This was a really good book. I would highly recommend it. I read half and listened to half with an audio book and the narrator was great. She put you right into the culture! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Camille | 6/2/2007

    " A beautifully written novel... "

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About the Author
Author Anita Amirrezvani

Anita Amirrezvani is the Iranian author of The Blood of Flowers, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize, and a former staff writer and dance critic for the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times. She has received fellowships from the National Arts Journalism Program, the NEA’s Arts Journalism Institute for Dance, and the Hedgebrook Foundation for Women Writers. She is currently an adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

About the Narrator

Shohreh Aghdashloo is an Iranian Amercican film and television actress. Her performance in the 2003 film, House of Sand and Fog, earned her an Academy Award nomination. In 2008, she earned an Emmy for her work in the television drama, House of Saddam. Also an audiobook narrator, she has read And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, Inside the Kingdom by Carmen Bin Laden, and The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani.