Book Review : The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

Tears came running down my cheek as soon as I read those last words..

The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
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“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 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.”

An excruciatingly painful memory came over me. As if falling in love with this book wasn’t enough for my heart, it shot across a tingling forlorn itch in my fingers. With trembling hands, as weird as it may sound to a few people, I actually went ahead and kissed that page. This was all I could do after reading the book ‘The Forty Rules of Love’ by Elif Shafak.

It talks about various rules of love, as is evident from the title itself, but the kind of narrative style used by the author is quite commendable. She uses the views of different persons involved in the main story to describe the happenings taking over at several places together. A thriller elucidating a varying perspective on Sufism, Islamic mysticism, faith and most of all – Self Love, one finds it totally difficult to come out of the grasping visuals painted beautifully by the author herein.

The story starts with Ella’s life, how perfect from the outside only to find her deeply heartbroken and unhappy from within. She has everything- a perfect house, a great husband, three children, a dog.. Life couldn’t be better. Only she isn’t really content. The author gradually gives us a peek into her seemingly perfect routine and the reasons for her deep-rooted sadness. How she finds Love through the novel ‘Sweet Blasphemy’ by A.Z. Zahara, describing the extraordinary bond between the famous poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, is a quest worth reading for.

Along with the Forty Rules of Love, one shall find many insightful stories in the sensationally picturized backdrop of Baghdad (the capital of Iraq) and Konya (a major city in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey), it is indeed a remarkable job by the author. It left me so overwhelmed, I have a new perspective to life now. One involving Love, for sure!

Publisher: Penguin Books

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