“A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.”
The forty rules of love
This novel is about love. Love to Oneness, Love to humanity!
This book was with me for more than six months and as I sat down in this spring finding a perfect time for reading and devoting my full attention for this novel. I realized soon that I just got hooked up each night with this book. A flow of rhythm becomes in a certain way that I started turning its pages to reach the next part of intriguing suspense without blinking an eye.
Though, what’s more, compelling moment seems to me were the quoting parts of this book! Each time, when I m in the fifth gear of reading speed I got astonished and emotional and my breaks fail where Shams uses his bold statements by adding one of his forty rules in a mesmerizing way. I got stuck reading those quotes again and again and once I feel I absorb all of it, I feel still empty!
So far, here is my review of this book:
The past is between Rumi (the 13th century) the famous scholar transformed into a poet and his spiritual and most beloved companion Shams of Tabriz.
And the present between Ella who lacks love in her life but deep inside down urges for it and met Aziz the author of a manuscript she is reading.
It starts with Ella, the ordinary western 40-year-old Jewish housewife living in Northampton, Massachusetts, and a mother of three children. Ella got the job of a reader in a literary agency. Her first assignment was to make a report on the book named as “Sweet Blasphemy” by author Aziz Zahara.
First Ella was not much into this book due to her own midlife crisis going on. But as soon she started reading it further she realizes, it’s the best book ever she had read. And, later on, her interest in Aziz increases through an e-mail and she starts falling in love with him and his words.
By reading Shams, Ella realizes that something changes her. She discovered that she become wiser, calmer and much sensible person to handle things around her smoothly and not to run after or take stress over for things that are not in her control.
Shafak’s, tried to knot the relationship between Rumi and Ella, as both are unsatisfied with their life, and are searching for square pieces of the puzzle to fill that what makes them unhappy and unsatisfied with their routine life.
For that, just like Rumi met Shams, who enlightens his life and boost his passion for life with the divine of love.
Ella met Aziz, who showed her the importance of love that can bring meaning to life. Because a life without meaning is awful.
Furthermore, I regard the way Elif Shafak blends the novel in an enthralling art by telling the story of Shams and Rumi with each character eyes… the Rumi; sons, wife, daughter, the dervishes, the beggar, the zealot, the prostitute and many more. With the voices of different people around them makes the scenes more packed with suspense and appealing for the reader.
Here, Shafak explores the Sufism concept by opening the doors of spiritual boundaries that entails the meaning of life with the ideas of love, truthfulness, loyalty, continuous forgiveness through seeking God everywhere.
From Shams’ famous rules of love, I realize it’s easy to love flawless and unblemished Creator but it takes much struggle and effort to love His creature who are one way or another full of flaws with a nature full of sins.
Therefore, the author gives us a clear message: to live happily and satisfied isn’t enough but to live a meaningful life is what matters most.
This novel pointed out that by reading sweet blasphemy (the past about Rumi and Shams) it will change reader life. And so does it affect Ella.
Ella seems a change in her and that change was left an unsolved mystery for readers to judge whether the change was good or bad. Did Ella do the right step to sacrifice her life for the love or it was the hasty decision that she made?
To solve the mystery, you need to grab a copy of this thrilling book from your nearest bookstore!
It’s time to read a man behind the legend Rumi. If you haven’t, then go ahead because it’s better late than never.
I’ll give a ⅘ rating to this book! What about you? Do let me know.