THE FORTY RULES OF LOVE
is a novel by Elif Shafak, a Turkish writer, one of the most inspiring and promising writer of current times. Novel is a time travel journey of thirteenth century Anatolia and modern day New York. Forty Rules of Love is a critically acclaimed, award winning and one of the best books of Elif Shafak. There lies a story within a comparable story. Elif has inter- connected both stories with its characters, and keep readers in their grip. Characters of the novel are very strong in both the eras.
Novel starts with the story of Ella, a New York based house wife, living with her husband and two daughters and starting her career in middle age. Apparently her life is quiet satisfying but in depth she is suffering from Middle Age crisis, which can be well described “loneliness crisis”.
At the same time, there is beginning of another story in the 13th century Anatolia. The story of Molana Jalal- ud- Din and Shams of Tabriz. Their life crisis is also loneliness and search of companion who can understand their holy duties.
It was time of widespread religious clashes, political differences and limitless power struggles between different ethnic and religious empires.
During these times of disorder, there lived an eminent Islamic intellectual, recognized as Jalal Al-Din Rumi in Anatolia. He was given the name Mawlana -Our Master by his disciples.
In 1244, Rumi met Shams – a wandering dervish with unconventional ways and unorthodox declarations. Shams encounter completely changed life of Rumi. It started a new era which still fascinates many after eighth centuries. It also introduces us to the Sufism and it foundation forty rules of love.
On the same time Ella, through her new job is introduced to a new writer. Their encounter transformed her live, completely. She finds the solution of her loneliness and faces the realities, breaks the chains of conventional life.
Elif has well woven the plot of novel which has enough charm to attract its readers. Although in start, its bit slow but suspense keep the reader in grip, even if its synopsis have been already read.
I would suggest it to every person who is suffering from depression, loneliness and feel monotonous in life. Novel approach is very optimistic and opening arms towards love of God. Writer conveys mystic and Sufism approach, in a manner for the approach of living a positive life. Its bitter reality of life that human beings have always been in search of happiness and true love. Mostly we search it around us in other human beings. Every reader reaches on conclusion that Divine love is only answer of it.