The Forty Rules of Love - review | Children's books | The GuardianShare on:. This is a sixth novel from best-selling Turkish author, Elif Shafak. Set in twelfth century Anatolia, two famous characters from Islamic history meet in a gorgeously real world. A delicate contemporary US love story is wrapped around the rich, meaty historical fiction. Don't be misled by the dodgy-sounding title! During the violent fall of the Byzantine Empire, when Crusaders threatened one end of Anatolia and Genghis Khan the other, a seminal meeting took place at Konya.
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Discover the forty rules of love…. Ella Rubinstein has a husband, three teenage children, and a pleasant home. Everything that should make her confident and fulfilled. So when Ella reads a manuscript about the thirteenth-century Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, and his forty rules of life and love, her world is turned upside down. She embarks on a journey to meet the mysterious author of this work. It is a quest infused with Sufi mysticism and verse, taking Ella and us into an exotic world where faith and love are heartbreakingly explored. The Forty Rules of Love has been on my wishlist for so long ever since a blogger friend recommended it to me when I wanted to learn more about Rumi.
Rate this book. In this lyrical, exuberant follow-up to her novel, The Bastard of Istanbul , acclaimed Turkish author Elif Shafak unfolds two tantalizing parallel narratives - one contemporary and the other set in the thirteenth century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabriz - that together incarnate the poet's timeless message of love. Ella Rubenstein is forty years old and unhappily married when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent. Her first assignment is to read and report on Sweet Blasphemy , a novel written by a man named Aziz Zahara. Ella is mesmerized by his tale of Shams's search for Rumi and the dervish's role in transforming the successful but unhappy cleric into a committed mystic, passionate poet, and advocate of love.
Some spoilers ahead! I found it to be a fascinating read that leaves a lasting impression. The narrative is simple, unassuming and takes you on a lyrical journey filled with timeless mystical romance that transcends space and time. It begins with a run-of-the-mill present day plot of a frustrated and placid Jewish housewife Ella facing cliched middle-aged blues and identity crisis, replete with a cheating husband she cannot emotionally connect with anymore, a rebellious teenage daughter and twins on the verge of teenage, dealing with issues of their own. In a move surprising herself, she begins a clandestine email correspondence with the author of the manuscript. A bold step that causes ripples in her tranquil and uninspiring existence, bringing with it life-changing consequences for the author, Ella and her family.
The Forty Rules of Love
Forty-year-old Ella Rubenstein is an ordinary unhappy housewife with three children and an unfaithful husband, but her life begins to change dramatically when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agency. Her first assignment is a novel intriguingly titled Sweet Blasphemy, about the thirteenth-century poet Rumi and his beloved Sufi teacher Shams of Tabriz. The author is an unknown first-time novelist, Aziz Zahara, who lives in Turkey. Initially reluctant to take on a book about a time and place so different from her own, Ella soon finds herself captivated both by the novel and the man who wrote it, with whom she begins an e-mail flirtation. As she reads, she begins to question the many ways she has settled for a conventional life devoid of passion and real love. At the center of the novel that Ella is reading is the remarkable, wandering, whirling dervish Shams of Tabriz, a mystic provocateur who challenges conventional wisdom and social and religious prejudice wherever he encounters it. He is searching for the spiritual companion he is destined to teach.