Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Flowers in the Blood

Gay Courter
Flowers in the Blood

Flowers in the Blood, is a book that was written over 20 years ago. I picked up this book because of the book discussion next week. I doubt I would have picked up this novel. But, that is why that is why there is a book club. Books you would not have picked up.

Flowers in the Blood is based on historical events in India in the late 19th century( during the Industrial age). Where Britain has taken power over the countries, for the products they have, in India, and China it is Opium.

The Sassoon family are a Jewish wealthy, successful, and powerful family in India. Her father is the owner of his opium business for trade. It is legal during this time.

He has a young daughter, Dinah and two brothers. Her mother, gets herself in trouble with bedding strange men, and smoking Opium.. Dinah, witnesses her mother's murder. Her father is away on business. Her mother is carrying on a affair with another man, and is using Opium, and other things a young women would not do. . They catch the man that murder's her mother, but for some reason he gets off.

When Dina gets older, her father takes her to far away places to learn about the Poppy flower, that is manufactured into Opium. . She is traveling with her father, and her curiosity about the business of the Poppy flower,  leads her to learn the business, and become business savy.

When she becomes of age, it is time to arrange a marriage, and a dowry. Unfortunately, Her father searches for a match, but because of her mother's reputation, the suitors and families turn away.
Her father is forced to find suitors that that are farther away, and isn't aware of her mother's  reputation.  Fortunately, her father finds a match, Silas. The son, of a man that owns a tea plantation and spice plantation.

Her family agrees to the marriage. He has he's own wealth, and business.. He only marries Dinah to please his father.

Unfortunately it is discovered that he likes to be with men.
He feels bad that it has come to this, and she leaves him and returns to her family.

Again, another marriage is arranged. She is absolutely, head over heals over Edwin. They marry, and live outside of Calcutta with he's family.

During one of his trips Edwin is away, one of he's friends tries to seduce her. She refuses. She takes it, that he is out of he's head with Opium.  Because he's family is a very wealthy and influential family. They are afraid of what trouble he will stir up. They decide to return to her family.

Dinah's father gives Edwin a job, and discovers that Dinah's uncle is skimming the books of billions of dollars of Opium. During this time, Silas, her ex-husband dies. He leaves her everything, a large income, the business, everything he owns.

Dinah, has a hard time dealing with what kind of business her family is in. Especially since they are becoming wealthy, from Opium. her mother died from the exposure of it. She hates people using Opium. Edwin for years was denying ever using Opium, but then one day she catches him and gives him a ultimatum.

The rest you will have to read your self, how she saves the company from ruin. Does she go back to Edwin?

One thing you have to realize is that Opium is legal as you read this. Because as you read, some of the things that are done, you would think twice now. But, in the late 1800's it was legal to grow, sell, distribute, and find buyers.

This is not my type of book to read. I love historical fiction. But, not when it is bogged down in facts. I like a novel, that is historical when it is not based on people. I like to read on different places and time periods when I have to do my own research.

Besides, I am not the type of person that reads long books. It gets tedious to me. The last part of the book was about the business end and the financial part of the business.  I was not interested and lost interest. I was getting irritated, it was tedious till the last few pages. Then she tied the string together for a happy ever after.  I don't like books that are romance, and I would consider this as one.   But, I would not say, I hated it. Just not the type of book I like to read. The author does have a website, and it full of resource material. I did contact the author for discussion questions. She was kind enough to send to me.

The book captivated me for the first 350 pages and then lost steam.

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