Bookseller Comments

Here’s what booksellers around the country have said about The Blood of Flowers:

“A unique and luminous coming-of-age story that takes place in 17th century Iran. A young woman and her mother struggle to survive after her father’s death, and end up in the home of a wealthy uncle who teaches her the craft of rug weaving. A tale as brilliantly woven as the rugs she weaves, the prose full of poetic imagery, with characters that come to life, I could not put this book down. A sure-to-be book club favorite, I cannot wait to start recommending this compelling read!”

—Linda Grana, Lafayette Books (Layfayette, CA)

“This wonderful novel transports you to 17th century Iran and a world full of beautiful images of the Iranian countryside—a fabulous city, its markets, slums, and wealthy homes. This compelling novel provides the charm of an old fashioned fairy tale which will keep you wanting more.”

—Lynn Gonchar, Tudor Bookshop (Kingston, PA)

“This story of one woman’s struggle to establish her own life in 17th century Iran is as complex, intricate and beautiful as the exquisite rugs she designs. Set against the background of the dynamic city of Isfahan, Anita Amirrezvani has written a novel with a great stylistic touch that is so lush and magical in its plot and telling it will conjure images of Scheherazade.”

—Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books (Ann Arbor, MI)

“The Blood of Flowers is a dip into the life of a young woman in 17th century Persia. I enjoyed reading it from many perspectives: that of a 21st century American woman learning about what was possible then and there for women, that of a 21st century American bookseller interested in what women’s book clubs want to read and discuss, and that of someone who likes good writing. The Blood of Flowers qualifies as a successful book on all counts.”

—Janet Boreta, Orinda Books (Orinda, CA)

“It is a feat to bring off a serious, historically-set novel where the history doesn’t overwhelm the human story, nor does the human tale simply use the history as furniture. Anita Amirrezvani in her most impressive, captivating debut, makes her novel of a young woman finding her way into life in 17th- century Iran one that does justice to both story and history.”

—Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle, WA)

“What is it like to live secluded by the veil? The Blood of Flowers immerses us in the opulence of 17th century Persia, where a young woman vies to pattern her own life and passions in a traditional world run by men. The setting may be exotic to contemporary readers, but her fiercely modern spirit is instantly recognizable. A classic story rich in period detail, it’s sure to delight.”

—Ken White, San Francisco State University Bookstore (San Francisco, CA)

“Airplane read: a book compelling enough to make you miss take off, and leave you surprised when you land on the runway. The Blood of Flowers is a guaranteed Airplane Read. Even if you’re not going anywhere!”

—Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books (Wichita, KS)

“In The Blood of Flowers, I was transported to 17th century Iran by a beautiful story written by Anita Amirrezvani. She weaves fables throughout her story, and I could see the rugs taking shape and color in her storytelling. After finishing the book, I took a few moments to reflect on the story, the lyrical writing, and the images that were in my mind.”

—Eileen Dengler, Executive Director, NAIBA

“A beautiful story, woven like the rugs within it, with colors and images and sensations. A really great read!”

—Margie Scott Tucker, Books, Inc. (San Francisco, CA)

“The story pulled me in right away. Dare I say it, but it was better than Memoirs of a Geisha and the story kept me up all night worried about what was going to happen to the main character! Needless to say—I could not put this book down! Great first novel!”

—Shannon Alden, Borders #0303 (Ann Arbor, MI)

“17th century Persia comes alive in the pages of Anita Amirrezvani’s debut novel. It’s a time in history rich in culture and superstition, and a time where women are not allowed to seek their own paths. Follow a mother and her young daughter who overcome tragedy and their traditional roles in society to create a life with integrity and passion in a world ruled by men.

—Cynthia St. Johns, Kepler’s Books (Menlo Park, CA)

“This is a beautiful story about life, love, sacrifice, and honor. Absolutely wonderful to read. Once you start you can’t put it down. I know I didn’t.”

—Dawn Mosher, Waldenbooks (Spokane, WA)

“Like the heroine of her novel, Anita Amirrezvani has crafted a multicolor tapestry tale with The Blood of Flowers. Each chapter, each interwoven fable, is like a different color thread being knotted to create a beautiful rug. Her prose mixes a tense coming of age tale with 17th century history, taking you along the journey from tiny village to large unknown city. Each new experience, each adventure creates a different color in her tale and her ‘rug’ becomes more beautiful. I will be pushing this novel to those that enjoyed Kite Runner, The Namesake, and literary fiction reading groups.”

—Dan Radovich, Barnes and Noble (Vernon Hills, IL)

“The Blood of Flowers marks the spectacular debut of Anita Amirrezvani. It tells the tale of a 17th century Persian girl, who, after the death of her father, becomes a servant of her wealthy uncle, a maker of exotic rugs for the Shah. Under her uncle’s instruction, she learns the art, craft, and business of exotic rug making, a vocation that may prove to be her salvation. With a Dickensian story and prose as precise and as gorgeous as the carpets it describes, The Blood of Flowers is a book to put beside the works of Lisa See, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Khaled Hosseini.”

—Scott Doddington, Cody’s Books (San Francisco, CA)

“This story was so vibrant and accessible. I felt attached to the characters and the events they were living. The description was beautiful, and the use of storytelling gave the book a fairy tale quality.”

—Cies Charbeneau, Barnes and Noble (Austin, TX)

“Good story.”

—Marti Dunn, Books ‘N Bears (Florence, OR)

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the way she described the richness of the rugs, the way the girl was waiting for her temporary husband, the way she fell to rock bottom. I was there watching from the sidelines. I also learned about the ‘sigheh.’ According to the author, this still happens. The way the author describes everything is fantastic. I could picture every moment. I can’t wait for the follow-up, it left me wanting to know more about the main character and how the rest of her life unfolds.”

—Kate Cooke, Kepler’s Books (Menlo Park, CA)