The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
In this lyrical, exuberant follow-up to her novel, The Bastard of Istanbul, acclaimed Turkish author Elif Shafak unfolds two tantalizing parallel narratives—one contemporary and the other set in the thirteenth century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabriz—that together incarnate the poet’s timeless message of love.
Ella Rubenstein is forty years old and unhappily married when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent. Her first assignment is to read and report on Sweet Blasphemy, a novel written by a man named Aziz Zahara. Ella is mesmerized by his tale of Shams’s search for Rumi and the dervish’s role in transforming the successful but unhappy cleric into a committed mystic, passionate poet, and advocate of love.
She is also taken with Shams’s lessons, or rules, that offer insight into an ancient philosophy based on the unity of all people and religions, and the presence of love in each and every one of us. As she reads on, she realizes that Rumi’s story mirrors her own and that Zahara—like Shams—has come to set her free.
Discover the forty rules of love…
Ella Rubinstein has a husband, three teenage children, and a pleasant home. Everything that should make her confident and fulfilled. Yet there is an emptiness at the heart of Ella’s life – an emptiness once filled by love.
So when Ella reads a manuscript about the thirteenth-century Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, and his forty rules of life and love, her world is turned upside down. She embarks on a journey to meet the mysterious author of this work.
It is a quest infused with Sufi mysticism and verse, taking Ella and us into an exotic world where faith and love are heartbreakingly explored. . .
‘Enlightening, enthralling. An affecting paean to faith and love’ Metro
‘Colourfully woven and beguilingly intelligent’ Daily Telegraph
‘The past and present fit together beautifully in a passionate defence of passion itself’ The Times
Elif Shafak has emerged as one of the most distinctive voices in both English and Turkish contemporary literature; her novels, The Bastard of Istanbul, The Flea Palace, The Gaze and Honour, are consistently at the top of bestseller lists across the globe. Elif Shafak’s examination of national identity, The Happiness of Blond People is available as part of the Penguin Specials series – a digital only series of shorts designed with commuters in mind.