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Flowers in the Blood Paperback – September 6, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 626 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (September 6, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595242499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595242498
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,491,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First met at the turn of the century, Dinah Sassoon, heroine of Courter's fourth novel (after River of Dreams ), is a member of one of Calcutta's richest Jewish families, its fortune built on opium trading. Her opium- and sex-addicted mother is murdered by a jealous lover early on in this hefty volume; Dinah herself acquires two husbands (the first is homosexual, the second satisfyingly ardent), has a run-in with a dissolute and wily maharajah, and takes control of the family business in an attempt to legitimize its interests. By all rights, these ingredients should add up to heady reading, but Dinah is a bloodless narrator, merely shuffled from one incident to another. Courter scatters italicized words and phrases as if to exhibit her extensive research of the place and period (one wonders, however, how even the most curious reader can be edified by such sentences as "When the spoon glowed, the cook was told to hold a large dekchi , or pot, over my head"). Its literary shortcomings aside, the book has plenty of commercial potential, and may prove attractive to those who like elaborate romance in exotic settings. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- An epic, well-researched historical novel of the life of a wealthy Jewish family set in 19th-century India. The first-person narration grabs readers from the start with the murder of the mother of the main character, Dinah Sassoon. Readers then follow Dinah's life for a half century through her loveless first marriage, to her stormy romance with her second husband. The book takes YAs from the crowded streets of Calcutta to the serene mountains of Darjeeling, through the exotic world of India's flourishing opium trade to the business world of Hong Kong. Through this book, readers will gain insight into India's culture, cuisine, and lifestyle while enjoying a romantic, adventurous novel.
- Roberta Lisker, W. T. Woodson High Sch . , Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It was well written and held my interest.
sandi
I learned a lot about the Jews in India as well as the opium trade.
Ingrid K. Roskin
When I finished reading the 600+ pages, I reread some parts.
Marilyn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Lauren Kermode on October 2, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Flowers in the Blood" enthralled me. Aside from its being well written and engaging from the very first page, it is an exotic account of a little know piece of world history: the J opium trade in turn-of-the-century India. In addition, its descriptions of the countryside, the mountains, the cities of that place and time make "Flowers in the Blood" an armchair adventure. I was drained by the end of the journey.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book almost two years ago. Since then I have read quite a number of novels but Flowers in the Blood still stands out as an all time favorite. I rememeber the characters and the story so vividly. Dinah Sasson's strong character and her ethics. The story was even more appealing to me since my husband is from India and is Jewish. Events and situations in this novel coincided with many of the stories I had heard from him and his family during their period in India. Very good story.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Carmen Matthews on May 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
From the moment that I began reading this book, I related to the main character, Dinah Sasson. At 5 years old, she said what was on her mind. And she asked questions that her father became mesmorized by.
And as she grew,in every sense of the word, she developed a resolve that became the final word.
While this novel is 630 pages, when you read it, you really will feel like you are there, part of each of the families, the business, the culture, and all the drama.
There were so many "lines," that I have picked up from this author, Gay Courter, in several of her books, that have become part of my life.
I especially appreciate a line in this book that says, "Advise me well in this matter, but don't advise me against it."
The power of that assertion says that we must seek the advise of experts, while we maintain boundaries, and while we make decisions based upon who we are.
I also learned from reading this novel how to be political and quick witted, while I remain true to what I believe.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dale M. Israel on September 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
This was an amazing book!!! I read Flowers in the Blood years ago and it still haunts me to this day. I simply can't put this book out of my mind.

I must admit that initially the title and the premise of the book was a "turn off." Reading about the opium trade in India just didn't sound appealing to me. However, once 5 or 6 different people suggested this book, I figured there must be something it to it and I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did!

What I liked most about Flowers is that this book made me feel like the characters were my best friends. I got to know them intimately and when I had finished reading the book, I grieved that my relationship with them was over. This book also opened up an entirely new world and took me places I had never been before.

This is a MUST read for anyone who loves a juicy family saga. I promise you won't be disappointed!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By thewordlover on April 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
I found the setting, information about the Jews in India and the customs of the time of the Raj to be very interesting-- and certainly learned a lot more about opium trade than I imagined I'd be interested in. I was very interested in Dinah's life, her thoughts and her reactions to what happens to her. One reviewer seems to have made an effort to find obscure lines to criticize. I could hardly put this down and found it utterly fascinating. I read one of her midwife books and am now looking for more of her work.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ashkie on June 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is great as a textbook; I learned a lot about Jews in India and the opium trade. However, the characters leave very, very much to be desired. The way Dinah Sassoon is just thrown from one situation to another without any character development whatsoever is very off-putting. At the end of 627 pages, I asked myself: how can I describe the main characters? And I couldn't. They are cardboard cutouts with no real personalities!

Do not waste your time with this one unless you really want to know about Indian Jewry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sheryl Holt on April 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I wish I could give this book a 6th star or a score of 10. Although it is quite lengthly, it is a marvelous insight into life in India in the 1800's, with super travelogue descriptions of various regions and a wonderful intriguing story line. The pages kept turning themselves and I greatly enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheveraj on January 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I have bought this book 3 times. I have read it twice, gave it away three times, and will buy it again for Kindle just because - who knows, I may read it again. I gave my last paperback to one of my friends who moved to India for a time and is Jewish (like the protagonist in the book) as a going-away gift and she has told me she loved it too, and how it helped her experience in India. But you don't have to be living in India or Jewish to enjoy this book. You just have to appreciate exceptional historical fiction and are interested in learning about areas of history that are not usually written about in fiction and like to be spell-bound for a few hours.
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