Review | The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

Some books are not about the story, and how it will end, but they are about the journey of reading the book. The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak is one of those novels.

It is a novel within a novel. Two parallel stories, where the first one is written by Aziz, (a self-proclaimed follower of Sufism), about the companionship between Rumi and Shams, and the second storyline is that of Ella, a reader who is reviewing this book by Aziz, and falls in love with him.

The story is about Ella Rubinstein, a homemaker at her 40s, living with her well off husband and three grown up children and Aziz Z Zahara, a Sufi writer living in Norway. Ella falls out of love with her husband and has a long distance correspondence with Aziz that is made to feel like love letters via email. On the other side, the story is also about the relationship between Shams and Rumi which is warm and mystic. Their conversations have a very ethereal essence to it.

This was 350 pages of delving into the past stories of Rumi and Shams, intertwined with a modern day American life, an engrossing read for romantics! The two timelines blended by the novel are smooth, quick reading with full of aphorisms of love, life, mysticism worth quoting. 


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