More Than Mommies Book Club: The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani

This month, because we met on Thanksgiving weekend, there were only a handful of us who could attend our meeting. The ladies in attendance had a wonderful time discussing this rich and entrancing tale.
I know that things become hectic for many of us around this time of year–what with having to remember to move elves around etc.–but I highly recommend that you add The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani to your must-read list if you did not get around to it this month.
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If you were reading along with us this month I want to know what you thought of this selection! Please give us your take on the book in our comments section.  Feel free to use the discussion questions to spur your thoughts.
I want to share some general observations about the book that our readers made during our monthly meeting:
This book is well thought out.  The characters are intriguing and the tale beguiling. It is very easy to see that time and talent and lots and lots of research went into making this novel a reality.  The author spent nine years birthing this debut novel! 
Sex is Sex is Sex!  It is amazing how it is very much the same regardless of time and space. And in 17th century Iran–it could be very, very good! Giggle Giggle. 
This is truly a hidden gem of a book. At first glance, it might not be a book that you would pick up on your own. But this novel brings Iran to life. It was truly fascinating learning about a culture and time period so different from our own. And yet–we are able to explore universal themes of womanhood, coming of age, love, friendship, family, sacrifice and more within the pages of this novel. 
If it sounds like I loved the book. It’s because I did. Hands down, one of the best I have read in awhile and it definitely made it into the top tier of favorites from our Book Club selections. 
Let us consider some of our discussion questions, shall we?  (They are taken from the Reading Group Guide provided with the book) Choose one or two and share your answers with us! 
1. What do you think is the significance of the novel’s title? How does it work metaphorically, and in what ways does it reflect on the narrator and the story itself?
2. How would you describe Anita Amirrezvani’s writing style, and what do you think this style contributes to the novel? Did you find anything striking or unusual about the way the story unfolds? Did it remind you of anything you have read before?
3. How much did you know about Iranian history and culture before reading this book? Did anything in the story strike you as completely unlike — or surprisingly reminiscent of — our lives today? What do you think you gain from reading about a period in history in a novel, as opposed to in a nonfictional, historical account?
4. The author decided to leave the narrator anonymous, as is the tradition in many folktales. When, if ever, did you realize that you didn’t know the narrator’s name? What effect did the anonymity have on you as a reader? Does it matter whether or not we know a character’s name?
5. Why do you think the author chose to include a number of Iranian tales throughout the novel? What did these stories add to your understanding of the book and of Iranian culture as a 
whole? Which stories were the most powerful?
6. Though The Blood of Flowers is set in a time and place that may be very foreign to most readers, it is a universal story about a girl reclaiming her life and coming into her own. In what ways is this a familiar story? In what ways does this story differ from your own experience or from other coming-of-age novels you have read?
7. The Blood of Flowers explores many different relationships in the narrator’s life — with her mother, her father, her uncle, her friend, and her husband, to name a few — all bringing out different sides of the narrator. Which relationship did you find the most compelling? Which did you find the most perplexing?
8. What is the meaning of the final tale, and why do you think the author chose to end the novel with this one? Is this the future you see for the narrator?
9. What would you say rug-making represents to the narrator aside from monetary benefit? What does the art of rug-making represent in the story itself?
I cannot wait to hear some of your thoughts. 
We will take a short hiatus through the month of December. So you will not see another book club recap until the end of January. However, we do have a selection on queue to keep you occupied until then.  In the meantime, if you have any book recommendations for our group, please let us know. We are always scouring the shelves for interesting books to discuss with all of you. 
We will be reading The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom for December through January.
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I am also adding Anita Amirrezvani’s latest novel, Equal of the Sun, to my wishlist! And if you whiz through these selections you can always peruse our shop and visit (revisit) our selections from the past few months. They are all there–in both hard copy and e-book versions–for your convenience! Learn more about our book club as well–we would love to have you join us!
Happy Reading Everyone!

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Comments

  1. says

    I LOVED this book! And I was surprised that I did. I would not have picked it up myself. I loved learning about another culture and how it works. I loved the variety of characters that became part of the story. I thought the author did a great job showing the main characters growth during the book. She had several growing pains that taught her a lot, but had me feeling sorry for her. I’m so glad that we chose this book and read something a little bit different.

  2. Meredith says

    I am so glad you loved this book too! I will admit, I first picked it up and was skeptical. Seemed so far removed than anything I could relate to. But then I so quickly got caught up in this world of ancient Persia carpet-making and I didn’t want to leave. I was truly sad when the book ended. I loved the strength she found within herself and it was very cool to watch her grow and mature. Thanks for sharing this great recommendation and off to read The Kitchen House!

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