"Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven't loved enough"
I finished The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak last night and sighed, it wasn't a regular sigh, it contained the knowledge that I was changed somehow, affected in a way I couldn't yet articulate. Some books have the power to do that, don't they?
The Forty Rules of love follows two parallel narratives, one is that of Ella Rubenstein who is 40 years old and recently employed as a reader for a literary agent. Ella is suspicious and often scornful of love and it slowly becomes clear that she is in an unhappy marriage. The other narrative is set in the thirteenth century and follows Rumi and his spiritual companion Shams of Tabriz who helps him on his journey to become the famous poet he is known as today.
Ella is quickly fascinated by Shams and as a consequence with the writer of the book, Aziz Zahara. As she reads on and learns of Shams' 40 rules of love, she feels the void of love in her life and wonders if Zahara is meant to set her free, like Shams aimed to do for Rumi.
So many ideas presented in this book resonated with me, caused me to think and also identify my own faults as a human being that I feel humbled by this novel. Elif Shafak writes beautifully and weaves the two parallel narratives really well. I paused when I read this for example -
"Prose or poetry, the words come to me in flocks and then leave just as suddenly, like migrating birds. I am only the bed of water where they stop and rest on their way to warmer lands"
The lyrical quality here tugged at my heart so much. An absolute beauty of a book, this one! - 46 minutes ago