By Theresa Daniels,2014-08-12 10:55
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I. Chapter Guide



    1. Nomad

    2. Tincture


    1. According to the introduction, what were the conditions that forced the

    nomadic tribes to settle?


    1. Although advancement in technology brings many useful and positive

    changes, sometimes there are negative side effects as a result of these

    changes. What are some of the negative side effects of the advancements

    mentioned in the introduction? Would it have been possible to avoid

    these side effects? If so, how?

Chapter One:


    1. Corral


    1. Who does Anahita‟s father suggest she might marry?

    2. What excuse does Anita give her father for not getting married?

    3. What does Anahita say the khan‟s good quality is?


    1. Discuss Anahita‟s relationship with her father in Chapter One.


    Chapter Two:


1. Conceal

    2. Ponder

    3. Migration

    4. Descend

    5. Vague

    6. Apprentice

    7. Sarcasm

    8. Preside

    9. Minaret

    10. Chivalrous

    11. Weft

    12. Consolation


    1. Who did Anahita and Shirin spy on when they were younger?

    2. What secret does Anahita learn about the khan that makes the idea of

    marriage seem even scarier?

    3. What analogy does the author use to describe the state of Anahita and

    Shirin‟s relationship and how it can be fixed?

    4. What advice does the mullah give Anahita regarding marriage?


    1. In both the beginning and end of the chapter, Anahita reflects upon her

    cousin Shirin‟s life as a married woman. Why do you think she keeps

    thinking about her cousin this way?

    2. After Anahita remarks to her mother that women would make fine

    Kadkhudas (tribal leaders), her mother tells her that it sounds as if she is

    saying that she believes women could live without men. But is that really

    what Anahita is saying? Explain.

3. Anahita solves her father‟s riddle, which is that life is like a garden, that

    both never stay the same, which she realizes just after telling her mother


    that she doesn‟t want her life to change. What is the reader to take away

    from this?

    Chapter Three:


    1. Prattle

    2. Bolster

    3. Repercussion


    1. What two qualities does Anahita insist the man she will marry must


    2. According to Anahita‟s mother, how would the tribe‟s people react if

    Anahita were allowed to go forth with her wedding riddle contest?

    3. What previous idea did Anahita have that caused an uproar among her

    community? What were the repercussions?


    1. What did Anahita learn about the bathhouse incident?

    2. Anahita compares herself to the great Sufi poet Rabi‟a‟, saying that they

    are both women wishing to express themselves feely to anyone, even

    Allah. Do you agree with this comparison? Explain your answer.

Chapter Four:


    1. Prominently

    2. Sentimental

    3. Encompass

    4. Provincial

    5. Tenement

    6. Venture



    1. Why did Reza‟s family joke that he received “gifts of blood” from some

    Celtic ancestor?

    2. What did Reza name is cockatiel?

    3. How old is Reza?


    1. From the “lesson” Reza gives his students, do you feel he is a good teacher?

    Why or why not? What do his students learn from their outing?

    2. What kind of man is Reza?

Chapter Five:


    1. Dysentery

    2. Scimitar

    3. Billow

    4. Bleats

    5. Bullock

    6. Progeny

    7. Bureaucracy


    1. What do Arash and his cousin find in between two boulders?

    2. What agreement does Arash and his tribesmen reach regarding how to

    deal with the Russian soldiers approaching?


    1. From his leadership of the tribesmen, his discussion with his grandfather

    and the author‟s exposition about him, what have you learned about


    2. What do Arash and Anahita have in common?


Chapter Six:


    1. Whittle


    1. What are the reasons Dariyoush‟s parents won‟t allow him to court


    2. What shape does Dariyoush carve out of wood for Anahita?


    1. As he sits with Anahita, Dariyoush wishes he could enjoy spending this

    time with her. Why can‟t he?

Chapter Seven:


    1. Pannier

    2. Bristle

    3. Assess

    4. Kindling


    1. How did Anahita respond after Shirin questioned whether choosing a

    husband would be a wonderful opportunity?

    2. What tribe‟s person does Anahita compare Dariyoush to?



    1. Anahita thinks to herself that her grandmother follows “her own spiritual

    clock.” Do you think Anahita does as well, or is she just stubborn?

    2. Do you think Anahita wants Dariyoush to ask for her hand in marriage?

    Why or why not?

Chapter Eight:


    1. Cumbersome

    2. Defiant

    3. Dervish

    4. Ardent

    5. Filigreed


    1. In response to her mother‟s question, what does Anahita say she was born


    2. According to Anahita, what do colors made from synthetic dyes lack?

    3. What does Anahita lose outside the mosque?


    1. What quality about Anahita is Arash most attracted to? Explain.

Chapter Nine:


    1. Somber

    2. Escarpment

    3. Reprimand


    1. What does Dariyoush say he needs Anahita‟s help with at the caves?


    2. What joke does Dariyoush play on Anahita at the cave?


    1. Were you surprised that the mullah consented to Anahita‟s wedding

    riddle idea? Why or why not?

    Chapter Ten:


    1. Dilapidated

    2. Abacus

    3. Destitute

    4. Portents

    5. Meticulously

    6. Conscripted

    7. Protocol

    8. Decrees

    9. Obscured

    10. Emissaries


    1. What personal desire for himself is revealed about Arash in the beginning

    of the chapter?

    2. Who does Pirouz, the young boy Arash meets upon entering Marv, say

    once stayed in Marv?


    1. Do you think Arash will make a good governor of Marv? Why or why not?

    2. Discuss the concerns Arash seems to have regarding his father‟s


Chapter Eleven:



    1. Obsidian

    2. Alluring


    1. What does the khan carry on his arm?

    2. What does the khan suggest his servant buy for Anahita as a gift?


    1. Chapter eleven is told from the khan‟s point of view. How is he different

    than what we‟ve heard of him in earlier chapters?

Chapter Twelve:


    1. Indiscretion

    2. Elaborate

    3. Sentiments

    4. Ornery

    5. Divert


    1. Why doesn‟t Anahita‟s father want to hear her riddle?

    2. What advice does Shirin give Anahita?

    3. How did Anahita‟s father chase away the snow leopard?


    1. Do you think Anahita is justified in tackling Shirin or did she overreact?

    2. Anahita‟s father explains his reasons for being angry with Anahita

    regarding her telling the mullah about the wedding riddle contest idea.

    Do you think he has the right to be angry? Should it influence his decision

    regarding the contest?


Chapter Thirteen:


    1. Deliberation

    2. Impious

    3. Discretion


    1. While thinking about Shirin as a grown-up, married woman, what does

    Anahita feel?

    2. What message does the khan‟s messenger have for Anahita‟s father?

    3. What does Anahita do with the silk given to her by the khan?


    1. Do you think Anahita is too hard on the khan, that maybe she should give

    him a chance? Why or why not?

    2. Were you surprised by the grandmother‟s support of the contest? Why or

    why not?

Chapter Fourteen:


    1. Ultimatum

    2. Dissipate

    3. Blustery

    4. Exasperate


    1. What is said to be Anahita‟s biggest wish in life?

    2. What occurred that might prevent later stopping at Mashhad on the way

    back to Hasanabad?



    1. Anahita believes that the man who solves her riddle will be her kindred

    spirit. Do you agree or do you think these are just naive thoughts?

    Explain your answer.

Chapter Fifteen:


    1. Irreconcilable

    2. Fervent

    3. Trajectory

    4. Receptivity

    5. Atrocious


    1. After learning of the wedding riddle contest, what does the khan threaten

    to do?

    2. What does Anahita say that hurts Dariyoush‟s feelings?

    3. What book does one of the dervishes give Arash?


    1. Anahita seems to be becoming fonder of both Dariyoush and Arash at the

    same time. Which do you think is more compatible with her?

Chapter Sixteen:


    1. Predicament

    2. Gregarious

    3. Manipulate

    4. Depose

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