THE FORTY RULES OF LOVE - Praise
"In The Forty Rules of Love, Elif Shafak has woven a wonderful tale of love and spiritual longing, brilliantly exploring the universal desire for intimacy— with another human being, as well as with the divine. It is provocative in the best sense of that term, a rare novel that succeed in illuminating the mystical aspects of daily existence, a novel of intelligence as well as heart, with wisdom that infuses every page."
-- Roland Merullo, author of A Little Love Story and Breakfast with Buddha
"The Forty Rules of Love is a wise, joyous page-turner... and one that speaks urgently to our war-ravaged times."
-- Thrity Umrigar, author of The Space Between Us
"How can I love well? With The Forty Rules of Love, you can pour out your heart, break out of your stuck places, mysteriously fall in love, and find the deep joy of freedom."
-- Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology
THE FORTY RULES OF LOVE - Summary
An American housewife is transformed by an intriguing manuscript about the Sufi mystic poet Rumi
In this lyrical, exuberant follow-up to her 2007 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. She is also taken with Shams´s lessons, or rules, that offer insight into an ancient philosophy based on the unity of all people and religions, and the presence of love in each and every one of us. As she reads on, she realizes that Rumi´s story mirrors her own and that Zahara-like Shams-has come to set her free.