Genre: historical fiction
Length: 377 pages
Setting: Iran in the 1620s
Interest: I was looking for an A author for my alphabet challenge at the library and this one looked interesting and fit the bill.
Summary: The narrator, a young woman just about old enough to think about marriage, has lived a happy life until her father dies. She and her mother have to travel to the Shah’s city, Isfahan, and throw themselves on the mercy of the father’s half-brother, Gostaham. Gostaham is a rug maker and has a successful household, although the wife never feels that there is enough. They are accepted into the household and treated as slightly better than servants. The narrator is interested in learning how to make better rugs from Gostaham and tries to make rugs to sell on her own. She enters into a temporary marriage and terminates it against her family’s wishes. She also destroyed a rug she was making because it was unsatisfactory. Because of her poor choices, she and her mother are kicked out of the house. Ultimately, she is able to start a rug-making operation for women.
Final thoughts: I loved the setting of this book. I’m fairly certain I’ve never read anything from this time and place and I got a great idea of what life was like for women from this time period. Because the narrator was a young woman, the reader is treated to lots of commentary on the food, as well as details of dress. I loved that she was finally able to make her dream come true. It took help from many sources, including her uncle, which was likely in that time period. It also took some luck, like being noticed by the Shah’s concubines who weren’t allowed to interact with men. That got her the in she needed to get continuing work.
Title comes from: Not an obvious one. My guess is it refers to the use of flowers for dying the wool and silk used in making the rugs.
Reading challenges fulfilled: 47/100 in my Finally to 100 Challenge, and an A in my Author Alphabet Challenge
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