The Blood of Flowers: A Novel
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Both a sweeping love story and a luminous portrait of a city, THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS is the mesmerizing historical novel of an ill-fated young woman whose gift as a rug designer transforms her life. Illuminated with glorious detail of persian rug-making, and brilliantly bringing to life the sights sounds and life of 17th-century Isfahan, THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS has captured readers' imaginations everywhere as a timeless tale of one woman's struggle to live a life of her choosing.
“Salaam aleikum,” I said. He returned my greeting and asked how he could help. “Do you know the farangi with the blue eyes?” “The Dutchman,” said the merchant, standing up to assist me. My heart lurched for a moment, for his close-cropped beard and thinness reminded me of Fereydoon. I blushed and averted my gaze. “I’m seeking him on an urgent matter of business,” I said. “Might you tell me where to find him?” “You can’t find him,” said the merchant. “He has left.” “Left Isfahan?” “Left
alone.” “You’re right, you don’t know how to do it alone,” he said. “I’m glad you finally understand that.” “I do,” I said humbly. “Then, yes, I will help you as much as I can. And gladly.” His enthusiasm emboldened me to ask for an advance on my wages for the cypress tree carpet, especially since Gordiyeh was not there to stop him. He laughed at my boldness and, to my great satisfaction, gave me the silver right away. I said my farewell and walked to Malekeh’s, singing softly to myself. The
jobs, and since they improved his contacts within the harem, he always put his most fashionable wares on display for the women. Gostaham normally sent his daughter Mehrbanoo to run his shop during the harem’s visit, but she became ill the night before. Gordiyeh was sent to sell the carpets instead, and I begged Gostaham to let me accompany her. I had heard stories about the Shah’s women, who were gathered like flowers from every region of our land to adorn him. I wanted to see how beautiful they
After admiring the thick silk, I told Gordiyeh about my visit to the workshop and asked if I might be permitted to observe Gostaham when he worked at home. Having seen how Gordiyeh had melted under Jamileh’s flattery, I spiced my request with awe over Gostaham’s carpet-making mastery. “Why do you want to spend your time that way?” Gordiyeh asked, reluctantly putting aside the bolt of silk. “You will never be allowed to learn in a workshop full of men, nor will you be able to do such fine work
He burst out laughing, and Gostaham joined him while I stood holding the dripping skein. I couldn’t see any reason for their great mirth. “Don’t take your eyes off the wool,” Gostaham said. For some reason, the skein didn’t look as sickly as before. I blinked, feeling like one of those weary travelers who imagine greenery in the desert. But blinking didn’t change what I saw: The skein now bore the color of a pale emerald. After a few moments, it changed into an intense green like the first