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The Blood of Flowers

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In The Blood of Flowers, Anita Amirrezvani’s modern-seeming coming-of-age story set in 17th-century Iran, the nameless 14-year-old narrator aims to use her carpet-making skills to snag herself a husband. Then her father dies, leaving her without a dowry, and she and her mother must move to the city of Isfahan and into the service of a wealthy uncle — who happens to be rug maker to the Shah. In Isfahan, the narrator cultivates her weaving ability and learns there’s more to life than marrying well. Though the flowery prose can be distracting, Amirrezvani skillfully threads culture, romance, and art into an elegant tale of self-realization and empowerment. B+