The Forty Rules of Love | Elif Shafak

“Your life is full, full, or so it seems to you, so that someone who makes you realize what you’ve been missing all along. Like a mirror that reflects the absent, not the present, the vacuum in your soul, the vacuum that I resisted his vision. “


  • Book: The Forty Rules of Love
  • Series: –
  • Author: Elif Shafak


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.


I’m going to go right ahead and say it. I didn’t like it. There were some good eggs in the basket. Namely, the book having a clear message of love and understanding, Which I fully support. As well as, the forty rules themselves were wonderful pieces of advice that I’m sure many have felt a strong connection to.

However, that still doesn’t change the fact that there were some flaws:

  • There was something clearly lost in translation. The book, if I’m not mistaken, was written in Turkish. Or any other language that wasn’t english. So theres a quality that is missing in the writing that simply brought me out of it’s scenes.
  • It contained too many POVs to keep track of. The story was told from so many different people that at times it was so confusing and frustrating.
  • The time jump, from the modern day to the past. This started out well enough. However, as the story progressed it became tiresome and inconvenient. The connection between the plots became unclear and somewhat forced.

The whole thing just felt forced. Perhaps this book just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Now, I leave you with a shot of the author. The most beautiful being in the book world.


Final Rating:


“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 have not loved enough. ” 


What did you think of this book, have you read anything similar to it? Or do you have any recommendations for me to try? Lets chat, don’t worry, I don’t bite. ^^

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