Just a month ago, I had not even heard of Elif Shafak and here I am reading her second book in a row. The Forty Rules Of Love By Elif Shafak is a follow-up to her novel, The Bastard of Istanbul. This novel is one of her best sellers. It is an enthralling and mesmerizing read.
The Forty Rules Of Love offers two parallel narratives-one contemporary and the other set in the 13th century, when Sufi poet Rumi met his spiritual mentor Shams of Tabriz.
The novel begins in the contemporary time where Ella is married, has three children and a great home yet there is a void in her life. Ella starts working for a literary agency and there she has been tasked with appraising the novel ‘Sweet Blasphemy’ by Aziz Zahara that narrates the inspirational relationship of great Sufi poet Rumi and Sufi Dervish Shams of Tabriz, and his forty rules of love and life.
Reading the novel, Ella’s world turns topsy turvy and she sets on a mission to find the author.
I especially loved reading about Sufism, Rumi, Shams of Tabriz and his personality, faith in god and his forty rules of love. The past and the present has been interwoven beautifully.
Some of the quotes from the book:
“No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within.”
“Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven’t loved enough.”
“Do not go with the flow. Be the flow.”
“Where there is love, there is bound to be heartache.”
“The real challenge is to love the good and the bad together, not because you need to take the rough with the smooth but because you need to go beyond such descriptions and accept love in it’s entirety.”