Book Club Discussion
There is no doubt that ‘Season of Crimson Blossoms’ was an interesting book. Without a doubt, it leads to the most interesting discussion. People had so many questions, most were answered and some not. The moderator made sure the main theme and sub-themes were discussed in depth.
We are all aware that Binta (One of the main characters in the book) is a 55 years old woman who fell in love with a 25 years old thug Reza, at least for those who have read the book. But how did this relationship start? Most of the members found it as a bizarre how this happened. In real life, there is no way you can be aroused by a robber, right? Well, not according to Stockholm syndrome, to which a member explained that you can actually be attracted by your captor or robber. Interesting, huh? Some branded Binta and Reza’s relationship as incest because, through Reza, Binta found a Son and through Binta Reza found his mother. But they went ahead and had a sexual relationship. Yes, it’s confusing, just read the book or at least attend the book club like a bunch of others, but I guess it’s too late for that discussion. Love is love, regardless of the age but it worked for Binta and Reza.
Almost everyone agreed with the moderator when he said the book took us to the bedroom from the beginning to the end. Were the bedroom settings and details necessary? Maybe they were, ‘Binta was wild, and wanted to explore her sexual desires’ this sentence was thrown several times by the members. Being a Muslim, it was so hard for her not to feel guilty about the sin she was committing. Some members wished she could just commit the sin and not care about what people think. Binta had a choice of remarrying, thanks to our Muslim members who helped in clarifying some things from the book since it was an Islam setting. Religion was one of the main themes, and the book was revolving around it. What we learned from the discussion is that there is a thin line between the religion and culture. Never confuse the two.
Another theme was patriarchy. It was evident in this book as well as from our discussion. Here is how: a good number of the members were on Reza’s side and it was so easy to justify his actions. Reza’s behaviours were described as Circumstantial and that he was a very good guy who did his best to himself and his friends. For Binta, however, was more of a disgrace to the society for dating a young guy. In real life, we make it seem okay for an older man to date a young girl but the reverse is condemned. Everything Reza did was justified, from how he earns his money, blaming the politician for using him, taking advantage of the organized crime etc. Binta does one wrong thing and nobody wants to be associated with her, both in the book and at the meeting. Only a few supported her decisions and admit that they loved her courage and attempts at exploring her sexual desires.
The closing remarks were mostly about appreciating the author for being so bold and daring. He brought out the plight of women and broke the norm amongst African authors, where no one talks about sexuality in depth and openly. His writing was beautiful and we could all connect with the characters and somehow relate to them.