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The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
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Book Review-The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
Elif Shafak is an author ,I have read before and have enjoyed her writings . This one is a much acclaimed work of hers and is a best seller
The story follows two parallel narratives in different timelines . One narrative is set in the 13th century ,in the cities of Baghdad ,Samarkand and Konya .This follows the lives of Shams of Tabriz ,a wandering Dervish and Rumi ,a famous scholar ..The second ,contemporary one follows the life of a housewife ,Ella ,facing a mid-life crisis ,in Northampton and Aziz ,a Sufi believer (if not a saint ) and an author ,whose work she has to evaluate .
The historical story of Shams and Rumi is told as much from their own perspective as from those of the onlookers ,the families ,and the people around them .The book dwells on Sufism and offers a refreshing perspective on Islam .Sham’s goal in life is to elevate Rumi from a scholar to a poet . This he does by breaking stereotypes, challenging dogma and forcing Rumi to think beyond the obvious . In doing so , they distance themselves from social moors and draw the ire of civil society, particularly Shams. Ella’s narrative different in this respect .It offered only her perspective and despite the momentous impact of her decision on her family, the only voice we hear is hers . I enjoyed reading the email exchanges between Ella and Aziz .Aziz ,brings about a transformation in Ella ,that is unpredictable and unexpected .
The book ,though not one of my favourites ,is still an enjoyable one . And I most likely would be rereading it . Though what is said in the book about love is nothing new ,yet the author’s gift with words ,brings a profound depth and meaning to it .
“Where there is love, there is bound to be heartache.”
“The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time.”

Definitely recommend


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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 22, 2017 – Shelved (Kindle Edition)
August 22, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read (Kindle Edition)
Started Reading (Kindle Edition)
June 15, 2020 – Finished Reading (Kindle Edition)
July 9, 2020 – Shelved

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